planning

Woo Clients with Gluten-Free Goodies from Among Friends

Got a client with a gluten aversion? Or just looking for a fun new treat to give as a thank-you gift? Check out Ann Arbor-based Among Friends Baking Mixes.

The company, the creation of best buds Susie Miller and Lizann Anderson, offers a range of gluten- and GMOfree cooking and baking mixes, all made from whole grains. Choices include cornbread, brownies, pancakes and waffles, and a variety of cookies. (A tasting by MIM+E of the cookies and pancakes found them to be delectable.)

New Venue Spotlight: Polk Penguin Conservation Center

Whether or not your event is black-tie, host it at the Detroit Zoo’s Polk Penguin Conservation Center and at least 80 guests will be wearing tuxedos.

The King Penguins, Gentoo Penguins, Macaroni Penguins and Rockhopper Penguins, to be exact. The stunning new center for the four species, designed by Jones and Jones and Albert Kahn Associates, resembles a gigantic Arctic glacier.

Dean Rusch Helps Make Music the Key to any Fun Event

Dean Rusch brings years of industry experience—he’s hosted more than 1,500 corporate events—and puts exciting twists on classic shows to maximize audience engagement. Take the dueling pianos show, for instance. The show is a hybrid of pianos as well as keyboards, drums, vocals and saxophones. Guests are invited to sing along and jump in with the band, Ceyx, which has been together since 1971.

FêteFone Turns Up the Audio With Unique Telephone Stations

Forget about greeting guests with the same old guestbook. FêteFone lets guests speak for themselves with unique telephone stations. Event planners can go to fetefone.com and select from more than 25 styles that fit their event décor. Once selected, the FêteFone hub arrives at the planned event location at least two days before the kickoff. The best part about the design? No telephone line is required. Guests can pick up the phone, hear greetings from hosts and also leave messages.

Turn Imagination Into Reality with EverBlock

Add a creative touch to your next event space with EverBlock, a building system comprised of oversized plastic blocks that can be constructed into nearly anything imaginable. Blocks come in a wide variety of colors, ensuring the ability to match any logo or theme, and they’re environmentally friendly in addition to being easy to set up and take down.

Meet Paul Viviano, Flower Man

Ask Paul Viviano to tell you the secret to his success helming metro Detroit’s largest florist, and he’ll immediately point to his family.

Viviano is the chief executive officer of Viviano Flower Shop, which grew from a small operation started by his grandfather in 1937 to a household name today, with 135 employees in five locations. One brother, Peter, is president, overseeing purchasing, merchandizing and product development, while another brother, Frank, is vice president, managing operations and events.

Event Snapshots: 2016 Michigan EPIC Awards

The Event Professional Industry Class Awards were held April 5 at MotorCity Casino’s Sound Board. Kurt Colone of Mike Staff Productions was the emcee, with entertainment by the Dan Rafferty Band.

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