The Knot Market Mixer

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I’m always excited to go to mixer events, especially when everyone in our office goes. This past Tuesday March 11, 2014 we were lucky enough to go to the Knot Market Mixer at the Hilton Orlando on Destination Parkway. As soon as we walked through the doors of the Hilton they had staff passing out hors d’oeuvres. What was unique about these hors d’oeuvres was the tray they were being served on. The tray was a picture frame of The Knot magazine. It was something I’ve never seen before! One of the items on the trays that also caught my eye was a Popsicle mimosa.

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Our team had to grab one and take a quick photo. After seeing this drink I was very excited to see what the theme was. We all signed in and made our way outside to the event space. The first steps outside were breath taking. I’ve never been to the Hilton before so I didn’t know what their space looked like. There was so much décor surrounding a custom wrap dance floor that said The Knot.

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I started to explore and the first thing I walked up to was a snowflake ice bar. Doug, the bartender, informed me that located around the space were four different bars; each bar had a different specialty drink. I then figured out that the whole theme of the Knot Mixer was seasons! I passed up on the winter drink because I wanted to save the Mexican Hot Cocoa for dessert.

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Our team started to venture to a big white tent. As we walked towards the tent we walked by gorgeous furniture by AFR that I couldn’t help take a picture of. The tent was magnificent with all the chandeliers hanging down. I felt like I was in a classy spring garden. Although we were in the spring part of the venue we were very close to the fall section where there were making Jalapeno Martinis with Honey Whip. Being daring, Danielle, Megan and I tried the martini. It was way too spicy for all of us, so instead of drinking it we just took an artsy photo to remember we were willing to try the unique drink.

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After we explored we started to run into some familiar faces such as Our DJ Rocks, SNAP photography, Cut the Cake, Big City Catering, Puff n Stuff Catering, AFR Furniture Rental, Victoria Angela Photography, Sensational Ceremonies, Orlando Museum of Art, Imprint Cinema, and A Magic Moment Photography. It was nice to catch up with these vendors outside an event. We also met some new faces such as BBJ  Linen, Photo Mingle, and the Leonard Brothers Band

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While mingling with all the vendors the models in wedding dresses came out to the dance floor for some photos. The whole night I was waiting for someone to go dance and I thought they were going to start the party. Sadly they didn’t, soon after though, Kristina from Big City Catering made her way onto the dance floor. I couldn’t pass up this opportunity so I joined her on the dance floor. The Leonard Brothers started to play some classic songs like “Shout” and soon enough our whole team from OSC was dancing! Not many other people joined us to dance, but our team had a fun time being silly together on the dance floor.

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At the end of the night, the lights dimmed and in the far corner a firework sign went off displaying The Knot logo. Soon after The Knot sign went off there were fireworks roaring in the sky. I joked about how romantic it was but it actually was a great way to end the night alongside our OSC team.  I very much enjoyed The Knot Market Mixer. It was something I’ve never seen before, I saw familiar faces along with new ones, and most importantly had fun with my OSC family. I can’t wait for the next The Knot Market Mixer!

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Peace, love, and dinos,
Kayla
Event Coordinator

Orlando Business Journal Article

The Orlando Science Center was featured on Orlando Business Journal’s front cover in their most recent print edition! Our Director of Meetings and Events, Helen, was interviewed about our space and the different events that we host here at the Orlando Science Center.

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Here is a snippet of the article online as well as a photo of our Dino Digs in the slide show. In order to read the full article you must be a subscriber to the Orlando Business Journal. The link is http://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/print-edition/2014/02/21/check-out-some-of-orlandos-unique.html

Helen was asked a few questions about our facility and they are included here below!

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What are some of the most memorable themes, meetings or conventions that have been held at this venue?

Several years ago, we were chosen to be the venue for the annual Orlando Business Journal Business Growth Expo. Hosting this event was a wonderful experience and helped expose Orlando Science Center to a unique audience. OBJ brought in local businesses to showcase their products throughout all of our exhibit halls and classrooms. At the end of the tradeshow, guests enjoyed a celebration in DinoDigs paired with excellent food and beverages from a local caterer. The event took place on a Wednesday while we were closed to the general public and it had a great turn out.

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Our Crosby Observatory is home to Florida’s largest refractor telescope and also serves as a great VIP reception space to reward guests for being “out of this world.” Located in the dome, on the top level of Orlando Science Center, guests can enjoy dazzling views of downtown and the night sky coupled with an intimate dinner. As an added treat, we’ve had clients purchase stars through our adopt-a-star program to recognize their attendees. Each star that’s purchased comes with a personalized certificate, viewing gadgets and a story behind each star.

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Are there any new technologies that you use today, that were not available when the science center first opened? Be as specific as possible.

Throughout the past few years, social media has played a major role in marketing our events. Being a nonprofit, we have a limited marketing budget, but through sites like Facebook, Pinterest and Flickr we are able to share our event spaces via photos of past events and reviews from loyal clients. These social platforms are widely used, available, user-friendly and really helps to market our spaces.

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The style of our events range from casual to black tie, so why not dress our dinosaurs to code? One of our recent celebrations wanted one of our featured dinosaurs dressed to the nines and provided us with a pink and green polka-dotted, dino-sized bow-tie to be placed around the neck of a T-rex.

 

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How does the science center manage to remain so successful as a meeting/convention venue?

In addition to having wonderful, conveniently located event space, Orlando Science Center has a team of dedicated and passionate event professionals. We treat each event as if it is the only one on our calendar, guaranteeing an outstanding experience from the initial site visit through the final event evaluation. We repeatedly hear from our clients that it is the meetings and events team that truly made their event that much better.

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Being a new intern, I was surprised to see the different types of events that the Science Center hosts. The staff goes above and beyond to accommodate all types of events and they assist in adding a special twist. The Orlando Science Center is a unique and sophisticated event venue located in the heart of Orlando. The staff here goes above and beyond to ensure that every guest is satisfied, whether the guest is hosting an event or just visiting for the day. The Science Center is full of life and beauty and is perfect for anyone looking to have an event that dazzles.

Stay tuned,
Stephanie
Event Assistant

AFR Tour 2013

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Most recently, our events department took a little after hours field trip to a venue downtown for the annual AFR Furniture Rental showcase! Clockwise from the top in the above photo: Abigail, Danielle, Gia, Caroline, Kayla, and Megan.

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Being that it was a great team building experience and excellent showcase in one, I wanted a fresh perspective from each of our new interns that were able to attend. Below, our interns Kayla, Abigail, and Megan all shared their favorite part of the evening.

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“This was my first year attending the AFR Networking Event and I was so happy I was able to attend because it was an awesome experience! My favorite part of the event was the overall theme-ing of the venue.  AFR did an excellent job portraying a carnival atmosphere with the lights hanging above as well as the “live décor” lamp ladies appearing in the room and the stilt walkers. The digital caricature was also a unique element that was a great take on the traditional caricature booths you would typically find at a carnival. I really enjoyed the food that each caterer provided – especially Arthur’s Catering’s take on chicken and waffles! The arcade was great and made it feel like the games you would find at a carnival as well. I also enjoyed looking at the set ups made by the different vendors after they were given different pieces of AFR furniture to use. Each display was different and stunning! AFR did a fantastic job creating the theme for such an awesome event!”

-Megan, Assistant Event Coordinator

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“I’ve been to many network events before and AFR’s network event was different from the rest.  Most network events there’s just music playing on a stereo in the background while everyone just stands around drinking and talking, but not AFR’s network event. I loved how there was a live band playing cover music. It made me feel as if I was at a live concert singing along with the band. Same as other network events there was alcohol but there was a great assortment to choose from, but what made the drinks even better was the food that accompanied it. My favorite food from the night was Arthur’s catering, the chicken and waffles. The next day at lunch that’s all I wanted to eat! I’m craving another chicken and waffle right now! The major stand out point and what I liked most from the AFR network event was that there were so many decorations and interactive stations that when talking to someone you didn’t have the awkward moment on deciding what to talk about. Instead of what should I talk about it was more like WHAT’S NOT TO TALK ABOUT! Overall I loved this network event and I can’t wait to go to the next one! Good job AFR!”

– Kayla, Assistant Event Coordinator

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“The AFR Showcase and Networking tour was a wonderful event and small eye opening experience into the event industry.  Having little knowledge in the industry so far, it was the perfect way to begin a lovely and educational internship with the Orlando Science Center Meetings and Events department.  The evening started at the Science Center, where all of the girls in the meetings and events department met and embarked on our night of socializing and bonding.  We then made our way on to the Church Street Station; a beautiful location for the showcase.  We were promptly greeted with excited smiles as we made our way into the two-story, mingling, munching, and admiring shindig.  It was quite apparent that this event was a silent battle between the many event vendors in Orlando; showing off their best for everyone to commend.  I greatly enjoyed the varieties of food and décor which flowed perfectly throughout with the theme of the night.  I learned so much from each vendor showcasing and had an enjoyable evening with my fellow interns and coworkers.  My favorite part of the evening was by far the food.  The Station was packed with many different tastes and flavors.  Circling each floor and experiencing the excellence of each caterer was a great reward for a spectacular evening.”

– Abigail, Assistant Event Coordinator

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My personal favorite touch was the decor and the theme! It seemed at every corner of the building there was a food station set up including Puff N Stuff, John Michael Catering, and Millenia Catering. Not only was the food to theme with mini burgers, tiny beers, chicken and waffle cones, but the presentation was themed as well. Wizard Connection had a conveyor belt of trays with Puff N Stuffs little burger platters on them. At the top of the conveyor belt was gears which paired perfectly with the rest of the decor and added an unexpected touch.

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Helen, our Director of Meetings and Events, shares her favorite part as well. Helen is a veteran at this event being that years ago, she got to work on it as well when it was hosted at the Orlando Science Center.

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“The AFR Networker is my favorite annual event.  Every year I am so excited to hear what venue and vendors have been selected to participate.  This event is such a special event to me, because back in 2010 the Orlando Science Center was lucky enough to be the host venue!  Being able to participate in this event is such a great way to showcase your product and develop meaningful relationships in the industry.  This year, I was blown away by the participating caterers.  The menu selections were incredible.  Puff ‘N Stuff and Wizard Connection’s display really helped to play up the theme and was a great visual upon entering The Church Street Exchange Building.  I could have spent all night hanging around Arthur’s Catering chicken and waffles cart.  The mixture of the mashed potatoes with sausage gravy, topped with a pieces of fried chicken and a strip of bacon couldn’t have been more perfect!  John Michael Catering had a great display of easy to eat savory bites.  My favorite being their Beef and Blues, a bacon and blue cheese wrapped meat ball!  In between visiting each caterer, I enjoyed snacking on beer flavored pop corn from Kernel Encore.  Everyone did such a wonderful job and presented such a delicious touch to such a wonderful event!”

– Helen, Director of Meetings and Events

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These last two photos are from the AFR event back in 2010 at the Orlando Science Center. We are so proud to be a part of the AFR Tour in the past and love to support it every year since!DinoDigs @ Orlando Science Center

 

Until next time,
Danielle
Manager of Meetings and Events

Central Florida Wedding Resources

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Some of our favorite wedding resources are printed publications like magazines and guides, as well as online review websites. In the office we’ve compiled our list of favorite resources for brides and grooms to use in the planning process.

  • Orlando Wedding Magazine This magazine is produced by Orlando Magazine and comes out quarterly. It’s great for trend articles on beauty, food, honeymoons, etc. One of the favorite features is the “Our Big Day” segment which showcases couples on their wedding day. This is a great spotlight for local venues, photographers, and details. Orlando Wedding Magazine is great about interviewing the couple and including special stories about how the couple met and their engagement story.
  • Central Florida Celebrations + Events Magazine This magazine was previously Central Florida Bride Magazine. It has great event questions answered by local event professionals. It’s a great way to zero in on a vendor like a DJ or a florist if you haven’t hired one yet. One of the bonuses of this magazine is that there is great content with articles that are pages long, and there are plenty of advertisements from some of the best vendors in business.
  • Perfect Wedding Guide This publication is a great little guide book that fits perfectly into every bride’s purse. This guide book always includes info about the next Perfect Wedding Guide bridal show – which every bride should at least one for fun! Vendors advertise in this guide book and sometimes even include coupons and specials for couples that book.
  • The Knot This is a great resource both online and offline. The Knot Florida magazine publication is statewide and offers venues and vendor selection for those note afraid to travel outside of the central area. It also offers trends that are nationwide and not just segmented to our state. A wonderful part of The Knot online is their vendor profiles like the Orlando Science Center has. We’re able to include videos for our brides and grooms to see our past weddings in action!
  • Wedding Wire This website is great for finding local vendors and reviews of them. Orlando Science Center has a page with 17 reviews at the moment which is so helpful for future brides and grooms to rely on others past experiences.
  • Style Me Pretty Florida Weddings Blog This blog features great photographers of beautiful weddings in our state. For the brides that love the romance of our SunTrust Terrace, this blog has great themes and decor ideas for your special day.

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Until next time,
Danielle
Manager of Meetings and Events

Event Highlight: Wine For Us

Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of working with the American Water Works Association on the Wine For Us Fundraiser for Water For People, hosted in Dino Digs. Although it was a fundraiser, the American Water Works Association made sure to stay away from the cookie-cutter fundraiser mold by adding unique touches to the event (including a sign in the T-Rex mouth!) which made it unforgettable and very successful. Completed by a silent auction with a myriad of timeless pieces, a few local vendors supplying wine and beer for tasting, a live artist, multiple food stations, a cigar roller and a photo booth the night was nothing short of entertaining and delicious! It was such a pleasure working on such a great event for an even better cause!

Ian Davids Photography | Java Lava Catering & Events | K Restaurant | The Wine Barn | Orlando Brewing | Funny Faces Foto | Jessilyn Park | Art a la Carte International | PRP Wine | The King of Cigars

Cheers!
Caroline
Event Coordinator

Wedding Highlight: Mayor Tree ceremony + Terrace reception

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Here at OSC we have a wide variety of brides and grooms that choose our venue for their special day. Each of our weddings are different  from the next. This couple incorporated many elements that made their day unlike any other here at OSC.

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They had their ceremony at the Mayor Tree and the reception was on the SunTrust Terrace. Before their ceremony, they did a “first touch” on the Terrace in which the groom didn’t see the bride, but she was able to see her groom beforehand to calm any nerves.

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The couple had Lee Forrest Design hang ribbons on the Mayor Tree, as well as floating orchids on the Terrace above their dance space. With the Terrace already being a romantic space, the hanging floral designs made for a wonderful touch.

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Even for December, the weather outside was beautiful as they danced to the band under the stars and the lights with downtown Orlando in the background. The band was a perfect choice for this couple as the group of people got to enjoy piano tunes during dinner and later drum-heavy songs for dancing.

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This particular couple had a wonderful atmosphere created for their wedding which you can definitely feel in their photos and in their wedding film below.

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Photo credit: Chris Martin

John and Holly Wedding from White in Revery on Vimeo.

Until next time,
Danielle
Manager of Meetings and Events

Vendor Highlight: Puff n’ Stuff

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Puff n’ Stuff is the preferred caterer of the Orlando Science Center and we thought we’d tell you a little bit about them from our perspective! Our Event Coordinators are on-site events all evening and have to eat at some point. We get to try many different kinds of food from all of our certified caterers so we know our catering!

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Without fail, Puff n’ Stuff consistently delivers excellent service and delicious food, from the first contact to the end of your event, Puff n’ Stuff is always there to please. These displays were for a recent wedding reception in our DinoDigs exhibit, catered by Puff n’ Stuff. As you can see, Puff n’ Stuff’s attention to detail begins from the first client contact to the last minute of your special event.

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Puff n’ Stuff is notorious for some delicious food stations that we’ve had the pleasure of having on-site. Most recently they dazzled us with a flaming doughnut station. Glazed doughnuts were sauteed in a rum sauce, then served with a coffee ice cream – the perfect combo!

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At another event, they amazed us with glowing ice cubes in our interactive exhibit, Our Planet Our Universe. The glow of the ice cubes matched the blue uplights in the room, creating an amazing atmosphere around our suspended globe exhibit piece which was the focal point of the dinner reception.

Be sure to contact Puff n’ Stuff for your next special event!

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Until next time,
Danielle
Manager of Meetings and Events