Event Planning Advice from the Experts


What makes an event memorable and aligned with your company values and culture? We spoke to some of our favorites in the business here in our hometown of Austin, Texas for their advice when it comes to producing a fun and sophisticated professional event. Austin has become a desirable destination for a variety of events and we recommend using this team of high-level professionals for your next event.

Red Velvet Event Corporate Ceremony Photobooth   Immuta Sales Event Corporate Ceremony 


We spoke with Cindy Lo, the founder of RED VELVET, about her expertise in planning exceptional events. RED VELVET is a global creative experience agency headquartered in Austin, TX. They design positive, lasting experiences, events, and activations that are grounded in their partners’ brands and their mission.

What's your best piece of advice for someone hosting an awards ceremony?

Design with your attendees in mind. Do take into consideration their age, their gender, how frequently they get to attend formal/corporate/recognition events. And always try to have one element of surprise and delight. This can come in the form of a guest speaker, lighting, stage decor or even the award itself. No surprise that I have personally found Trophyology to be one of the few leaders in the recognition space that really takes into account how a recipient feels when they receive a unique, well-designed award.

What is the biggest change you've seen in events since 2020?

By far the stigma that meeting in person is immediately a super-spreader event has NOT bode well for our industry. I truly believe we have enough data now to know how to meet safely, and once it becomes more normal and people accept how to navigate this world with COVID, we will all be in a better place. And I definitely see a surge in in-person events coming back to the forefront.

What's the best award ceremony that you've produced?

Ooh this one is a hard question to answer succinctly. I will say the ones that have received high marks from the attendees incorporated the following: (1) consideration of how long the entire program lasted; (2) how long each speaker/award recipient was allowed to give a thank you speech; (3) a consistent flow that kept people entertained and well fed, and do over-communicate what to expect especially for those that might be up for an award. Another special touch I have enjoyed seeing play out is post-awards ceremony, a congratulatory card is sent to the winners from the sponsors or even the host so that the celebration continues BEYOND just that evening's event.

Get in touch: info@redvelvetevents.com | redvelvetevents.com 

Corporate Event Downtown Austin Skyline   Boss Babes ATX Ceremony Honoree


Loot Rentals curates inspirational spaces through great design to cultivate deeper connections to self and community, encouraging you to live your best life. Co-Founder and CEO Rhoda Brimberry sat down with us to discuss her company's unique perspective on event styling and set up. 

How does venue styling help with the success of an event? Can styling help with virtual events?

At Loot, we believe in creating beautiful spaces to create deeper connections. We spend a lot of energy curating furniture pieces that we think have a lot of character and we match those pieces to others to create unique scenes. Our goal is to entice people to want to spend time with others in our lounges. 

We did not have much work when events went virtual. The way we pivoted to keep busy was to offer long term leasing of our rental items as well as home staging.  While we did not have the pleasure of serving the virtual environment, I do believe having a great backdrop that is more professional is always a good choice rather than your comfy environment that is relaxing for you at home. I prefer to have live staging rather than virtual staging.

How do you approach corporate events differently from private events?

Private events tend to be more reflective of the couple who is getting married, or the person who’s throwing the party. You will see a lot more custom details and more home-like interiors for these types of events. When planners put together corporate events, they do have interest in making the event unique, but more uniform. We’ll get requests for more matching chairs and couches, mirrored lounges, and less details. They want unique and warm, but not too personalized. 

What elements make an event distinct and distinguished?

Unique eye catching details are important. A close second to that is making sure that the details aren’t competing with one another. For example, if you’re setting a stage with furniture, it is fun to have a stand out piece but making sure it isn’t as “loud” as the accompanying pieces nor does it take away from the focus of the event. Much like thinking of the bridesmaid in a white dress much like the bride…think of where the focus is most important and build around that. If the backdrop on the stage is where the wow factor is, provide supporting pieces to it rather than items that command the same amount of attention. 

Which styles have you've seen trending lately?

Colors rich with terracotta and earthy tones are very hot right now. Thinking about beiges, pinks, mustards, all elements that you can pull from an earthy palette are super popular. The era that excites me most right now is the eighties with lots of chrome and curvy cushions. Super soft boucle is really making a statement right now as well with different earthy tones of color among the textile. 

Get in touch: hello@lootrentals.com | lootrentals.com

Executive Designer Wooden Award   DJ Tunes Music Custom Events


Started as an exclusive DJ collective in 2013, Dart has grown over the past seven years to include bands, solo musicians, professional audio services and sound technicians. All of these unique offerings share the same simple goal of providing a more customized and personal approach to music curation at weddings and special events. With performers in California and Texas, Dart provides local services to these states as well as fly out services to destination clients all over the world. Collective member Mason Ables talked with us about Dart's impressive work.

How do you strike the right tone for business events that balance professionalism and fun?

We really try to get a feel for the culture of each company we perform for and let them take charge of their event. We play more of a supporting role with the goal of augmenting the environment and heightening the mood overall. Whether that be leading line dancing for a Texas-based tech startup or playing chill indie house for an Italian F1 tire company.

What's your process for curating music that feels personalized to each client's event?

We have all of our clients fill out a "music map" detailing their desired cues for important moments and the overall vibe for the different parts of the event. Some clients are very involved and have a list of 50 songs ready to go, while others only have five songs chosen for each section. In that case, we expand on their taste to fill the night with a memorable musical experience.

What musical elements make an event especially successful?

There are a few notable elements that make events successful, musically. We double, sometimes triple-check the cues with clients. These are songs that the client has really thought through and show a lot of their personality to the guests. The final element is of course the dance floor. We play the client's requests mixed in with funky remixes, deep cuts, and crowd favorites. All of our DJs are trained in reading crowds and energy so that the guests have the time of their lives at every event.

Are there any specific songs you find always get people up and moving?

There are a handful of songs that will immediately get people on their feet: The Isley Brothers - "Shout", Whitney Houston - "I Wanna Dance With Somebody", Outkast - "Hey Ya!". But here at Dart we also like to give people an experience that they've never had before. Whether that be playing a remix of a classic banger, a mash-up of two favorite songs created by our in-house producers, or playing some old hits people forgot they loved, Dart Collective consistently finds a way to create a unique and unforgettable sonic soundscape for any event.

Get in touch: info@dart-collective.com | dart-collective.com


Ready to book your Austin-based event?

Reach out to our friends at RED VELVET, Loot, and Dart Collective for a first-class experience. And don't forget to include Trophyology in your planning so we can help you add memorable mementos to capture your meaningful experiences in physical form. Get in touch at info@trophyology.com or schedule a call today.

Photo credits: (1) Austin Woman's Woman’s Way Business Award Ceremony | (2) Red Velvet Event | (3) Immuta Sales Team Award Ceremony | (4) Loot Rentals Lounge Downtown Austin | (5) Future Front Texas Babes of the Year Award Ceremony | (6) AIA Austin Design Awards Celebration | (7) Dart Collective DJ Set


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More Questions?
Phone: 512.788.4558
Email: eva(at)trophyology.com