Category: Blog
Spotlight interview: Power Veterans Initiative
For this month’s spotlight interview we wanted to change things up a bit and highlight not just the work of one person but the remarkable impact a company can have on the community. We had a chance to sit down with Asher Raphael, Co-CEO of Power Home Remodeling Group, a company that doesn’t just surpass their own professional goals and ambitions but also finds time to give back in the best way possible.
  1. Why was the Veterans Initiative created? What made Power want to reach out to Veterans in specific?

In 2015, Power was named the #1 Workplace for Millennials by FORTUNE Magazine. With this recognition came a lot of media attention, which we saw as an opportunity – an opportunity to affect change. The question was, what kind of change? Looking internally, we saw that the veterans at Power were disproportionally successful. Externally, however, veterans were struggling to find jobs and often portrayed as broken in a variety of ways. Recognizing this dichotomy led to the Power Veterans Initiative. We saw firsthand that veterans are passionate, driven, and hard working. Yet the national narrative didn’t align with this experience. With our ever-expanding footprint, we knew we could change that.

  1. What is the goal for Power’s Veterans Initiative?

First and most importantly, we want to hire hundreds of military veterans and military spouses. For us this is not charity – this is the right business decision. Veterans are successful here; we want more of them. Yet it’s not enough to just get them in the door. Once they’re here, our goal is to provide them with the infrastructure and support needed for them to have thriving careers.

By hiring veterans and providing a real opportunity for a fulfilling career, we will achieve our second goal: create a model for other companies to replicate. While the day-to-day tasks of every company vary, they all need dedicated, purpose-driven employees. The success of our Veterans Initiative will provide them with a blueprint for how to effectively hire and develop veterans within their walls.

Lastly, by establishing a true connection with the veteran community, we will become thought leaders in this space. This will enable us to change the national dialogue surrounding veterans from one where they’re seen as liabilities to one where they’re seen as assets.

  1. How is the “refer a veteran” program structured?           

At Power, over 50% of our hires come from referrals. Therefore, when we launched our Veterans Initiative, we knew referrals would play a big role. The first aspect of our “refer a veteran” program is run in much the same way as all of our referrals: employees refer a veteran by entering them into our system, which then triggers our talent acquisition team to schedule a phone interview. If the referral is hired in this way, after 90 days of employment the employee who referred them receives a $2,000 bonus, just like they would for a civilian referral. Where this program differs, however, is that after those 90 days of employment, the veteran or veteran spouse also receives a bonus, which is $3,000. It’s our way of letting them know that we appreciate them and we’re committed to them.

  1. Are community events organized for recruitment?

Rather than create our own events, we often partner with leading Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs) on their events. We’ve found that this provides a stronger link to veterans and allows us to expand on our public-private partnerships. By participating in their career fairs or 5k runs, we’re able to introduce Power to a large number of veterans.

  1. As part of your mission, we understand you thrive to help create a stronger community by building community gyms and service projects. How are these selected? Can you provide a little more information on this?

Power has 12, soon to be 14, offices across the country. We knew that for this to be successful, we needed all of our offices to be involved – not just our headquarters. That’s why in each office we established a Tiger Team. These teams are made up of 5-8 trusted military and civilian employees who are charged with spearheading the Veterans Initiative in their region. Each Team has formed connections and partnerships with local VSOs that have led to joint 5k runs, community service events, and dinners. All of these activities bridge the gap between veterans and civilians, and hopefully help ease the transition of returning veterans. For us it’s not about saying we’re going to hire a certain number of veterans – it’s about helping the whole person. By partnering with organizations within our communities, we’re establishing relationships that let veterans know they haven’t been forgotten.

  1. What do you think this initiative has brought back to the company? How has it helped develop or grow Power Home Remodeling? 

The veterans already within our walls are growing within their roles, becoming leaders, and developing the people around them. They’re bringing a unique perspective to their work, which makes our organization stronger. This year we will hire just over 200 members of the veteran community, which means they will represent over 10% of our workforce. Soon all of our employees will be working with, and learning from, veterans. The effect we’ve seen on a small scale will then ripple throughout the company, creating a more diverse culture and more dynamic organization.

Power Vetereans Initiative Home Page:

Feature Story: Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science

The most anticipated museum opening Miami has experienced since Perez Art Museum is finally happening.

Locals will swarm the Philip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science on May 8th, 2017 for it’s grand opening. Frost Science will be one of the most dynamic and sophisticated science museums around the globe. The new museum goes beyond the unique architecture; it is the embodiment of curiosity, investigation and an enthusiasm for knowledge that will inspire generations to come. After many, many delays and setbacks, we are all eager for the doors to finally open!


Museum Overview

The new Science Museum boasts a 3-tiered aquarium featuring a 31’ oculus at the lowest level for a new perspective into the deep sea. Guests can also enjoy the brand new planetarium featuring one of only thirteen 8K projectors in the world, plus LaserShows and many exhibitions which will incite adults and children alike. 


Exhibitions to expect for the grand opening:

  • Feathers to the Stars– the astounding history of flight, from feathered dinosaurs to spaceships 
  • MeLaB– explore the ways your body and mind work together
  • River of Grass– explore one of the most precious ecosystems on the planet, the Everglades

Our favorite part about the new Science Museum? Being able to host an event beneath the 31’ oculus! Who will be the first to host an event at this exquisite museum? 


Stay up-to-date with the grand opening by signing up in the newsletter or by becoming a member today. 

Accounting: How it affects Your Event

Most people don’t realize the importance of the accounting department in keeping a business operating without hitches and delays.

That’s probably because accountants oversee many of the back-office functions in a business — as opposed to sales and the event planning.  Your event starts with customer service and a sales pitch, but without an outlined budget you cannot successfully accomplish the task. 

It’s about Team Work

Accounting is not just about the basics of providing an invoice, receiving a payment, or dealing with various vendors at one time, or posting the expenses, and reconciling an event.  It is about going the extra mile to work with your event planning team in making sure that the customer is treated professionally, and with the upmost immediate service.  When the two departments work collaboratively and in sync a few things happen:

  • The professionalism: The accounting department keeps presenting the professionalism that your Sales, and Event Directors are accomplishing which is an extension of the first impression they portray.
  • Budget: By working with the event planners, you help to balance their budget, which provides accurate job profitability, which gives the customer the tools they need to allocate their funds accordingly.
  • Expenditures: vendor resources are allocated efficiently
  • Forecasting: Cost and profitability for future events is now outlined



At the end of the day all you want is a customer who has had a memorable event and enjoys working with your team leading to repeated business and customer loyalty.

Cashless payments at your next event

Lets facilitate the transaction process at your next event.

We all know that most venue’s do not have a payment system and although there are a couple technological advances that have made this better for us, there has yet to be one that really makes a difference on two big points, our sales and attendees.  With CONNECT&GO’s recently debuted payment system we can increase our sales while making things less complicated for the consumer.

How is this achieved?

  • CONNECT&GO ships customized smartphones along with a video tutorial to clients that allow them to process payments from credit cards, debit cards, and R.F.I.D. tags.
  • Clients use a self-service Web portal to generate the menu of items they will be selling at the event, for example, beverages, food and swag items.

How it works?

  • The wireless payment system works via Wi-Fi or a cellular network allowing those who are managing the phones to move throughout the event without being bound to an outlet.

How attendees pay?

  • To make a purchase, guests simply tap their credit or debit card or R.F.I.D tag to the smartphone.

What are the key benefits?

  • Increased sales
  • Shorter Lines
  • Zero Theft
  • Inventory Control
  • Data Reports
  • Value for your sponsors
  • The ability to combine multiple items into one transaction.

To get more information about this payment module and use at your next event, contact us today!

Heads Up!

The advance on technology has taken the event industry by storm.

Just think about this – an event attendee even before the event has started has already used their phone or tablet to research the event, book their flight and accommodations, rent an car, map a route, create shopping and packing list and coordinate schedules with colleagues.

As event experience designers we have to keep up with the latest technologies and trends even though many will say it is impossible for attendees to stop looking at their twitter feed or checking their email during a general session.

We need to start looking beyond social media and add more to the onsite experience.  

Here are some examples of how to do so.

It may be impossible for some to completely stop using their smartphones, which is we believe we have to start implementing more of the “heads up” technology. For example, we can present large-scale interactive games where smartphones are the controllers or live social media walls where participants can see their picture and message as part of a larger group. We can have broadcasting polls and crowd streaming content on overhead screens (again, where smartphones only supply the content). Or even simply more dynamic video, audio and audience interaction (using an app like Crowd Mics to turn everyone’s cellphone into a microphone).

Furthermore, new ways of allowing attendees to interact with technology do exist; such as gesture control, made mainstream with the release of the Kinect game console, when millions of homes were introduced to the ability of controlling action on the screen with just body movements. There is also facial recognition, a lot can be told by one’s appearance, especially our face. Everything from expressions to the direction our face is pointed at reveals our mood, personality, and intentions. Which allows us event managers to quantify metrics that were once hard to measure, such as guest’s experiences and moods. As the technology for facial recognition continues to improve, the necessity for crowd surveys may decrease accordingly.

In conclusion, event managers need to start thinking of “heads up” tech solutions.

Basically, think of anything that will get people to look up and look at all the content you have worked so hard to create and not their disruptive glowing screens.

Redefining the Photo Experience

Its time to take your event to the next dimension! Using state-of-the-art scanning technology, we are able to capture your guests from all angles.

The selftrait photo booth is a brandable booth that fits seamlessly into any event or setting, creating a full 3D body scan. Your guest’s will be able to express themselves, interact and have fun through this teambuilding experience with a tangible take-away. The end result is not only, a lifelike full color 3D figurine or your guests but also, a memorable once in a life time experience! Don’t wait, contact us today for details!


Throw the mic in the air like you just don’t care!

During a recent brainstorm meeting for an upcoming conference, we ran into a challenge for a Q&A segment in the plenary session of our client’s conference.

The meeting took place inside a movie theatre, which made it difficult to walk a microphone to guests or have guests walk to a mic-stand. In order create an interactive experience and not take up too much time we realized we needed to find a different way to pass the microphone, there, we discovered the Catchbox! The Catchbox is a new throwable microphone designed to liven up audience participation, and in turn reduce the faffing around that seems to occur whenever a conference turns to questions from the audience. The padded cube houses a wireless microphone that can be tossed across a room or passed from person-to-person. Its encouraged to be passed around, the device has been engineered to automatically mute the sound when flying thought the air or if it falls.

It’s a great way to shake things up at your next meeting!

Marketing on Social Media

People desire to be social and connected; they want to be in the know and aware of events and trends occurring around them as well as share and express their experiences and opinions.

Social Media platforms allow for this self-expression and awareness. Businesses have learned this and are looking towards marketing on social media more than anywhere else. Connecting with social trends directly markets toward clients in a cost-effective way helping businesses acquire new clients and retain previous clients.

Ads and suggestive pages help link people to their needs and wants. Facebook is a prime example of this by using technology to present certain ads based on the person’s account. This allows the ads to link to relative clients locally and internationally.

The tools we use on social media permit for this integration. Tools such as: hashtags, sharing, and re-tweeting allow our voices to be heard. Businesses use the same tools to bring attention to their company and gain popularity. Instagram is another good example of how these tools help your marketing efforts. The application focuses on sharing photos providing the opportunity to show off your work and create an image for your company on social media.

Word of mouth marketing is regularly found on social media through reactions, reviews, posts, tags, hashtags, etc. It’s crucial for a company to take the time to figure which social media channel is best for them to maintain a positive word of mouth.


An effective, cost friendly way to add details to your event, while also adding an impact element, is to incorporate boxwood.

These faux hedges can be used for a number of décor needs. Here are (4) of our favorite uses.

  1. For casual outdoor corporate events, string lights are always a hit. Incorporating boxwood goes with the look and feel of the night. By creating a square bar, you could incorporate it into the bar back allowing it to become the focal point, and adding the extra textural element, creating a focal point, and pulling the space together naturally. This structure would then become a prime space for branding, if the client were looking for that as well.
  1. Any event can get lost in an oversized ballroom, and rather than the typical pipe and drape to section off the room, you can create dividers incorporating the boxwood, which brings in a natural element into a cold dull room. Boxwood is one sure way to cozy up an indoor space!
  1. Whether social or corporate, a sure hit these days are to have a photo booth. From the silly booths with props to the more sophisticated red carpet step and repeats, these boxwood walls create a unique and naturally elegant backdrop, also giving your client the opportunity to incorporate branding.
  1. Finally, the functionality of a boxwood hedge or panel is extensive. It can help to enhance outdoor spaces, or serve as a way of bringing in natural décor. It can also be used to cover elements that should not be seen by the guests. For example, we used boxwood panels to hide some general session equipment when there was no additional room available for storage. It served as a dual purpose by enhancing the room with a natural feel, but also allowed the production team to hide their extra equipment.

Lights Up!!!!!!

The importance of event lighting no matter what the event size is.

Simple lighting effects are a great way of creating that illusion of grandness without spending telephone numbers in a budget. We enjoy this concept in event design, as it’s a very easy thing to grasp.

For example, let’s say you are having in intimate cocktail event at an intimate venue or even your own home. Turn off all the lights and light up 200 candles. Simple right? You have just changed the entire dynamic and atmosphere of your home for very little money. Things will be hidden with dark shadows and other textured portions of the interior will be illuminated and hold light. Now take this concept to one of your large events with a 400-attendee gala dinner. Lighting does not have to break the bank but you get so much power in the overall look.

Simple up spot washes around the perimeter and some textured “lay in” lighting overhead turns the normal boring presentation into a night to remember.

On larger budget events, the effects are endless and the lighting instruments of today create exquisite experiences for attendees to remember.