We are excited to see that Event Destination cities are migrating and shifting to smaller cities in the world offering guests and clients another viewpoint with exciting local opportunities.

Jeff Hughes

Chief Experience Officer

Location: Mount Prospect, Illinois

Colorful + Creative. Exquisite + Extraordinary. We are artisans of exquisitely-curated event experiences™. We are The Huestudio + Company!

We formed Huestudio, a small events boutique company, in 2008, with a passionate focus to design elegant and innovative events for private clients.

The Huestudio + Company, LLC was formalized in early 2012, offering a comprehensive network of the finest creative talents who are passionate and dedicated to creating + delivering exquisitely-curated event experiences™ for discerning private clients, bridal couples, companies, and small organizations.

What are 2 trends in the event planning industry that you’re excited about?

We are excited to see that Event Destination cities are migrating and shifting to smaller cities in the world offering guests and clients another viewpoint with exciting local opportunities. This shift affords cities to reap economic windfalls while showcasing local artisans, unique venues and hometown talents. Two (2) U.S. favorites are Lexington or Louisville in Kentucky which offer gorgeous landscapes, boutique hotels, thoroughbred horses, and bourbon trails for delicious exploration. Budapest and Bali are two (2) favorite international destinations.

While purists choose an elegant design, classic invitations, letterpress and modern calligraphy, over-the-top and uniquely personal invitations to galas and events are rising with style and in price! One recent favorite is Jay-Z who recently sent VIP guests gold Rolex Daytona’s [valued at $40,000], along with bottles of Ace of Spades Champagne to celebrate the inaugural Shawn Carter Foundation Gala, a black-tie affair held at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida.

Given the budget, our team is uniquely creative to incorporate personal client styles and brand identity in memorable guest offerings, magical tablescapes, scrumptious sweet tables, and thoughtful departure gifts, as well.

What are some tips for creating an elegant and memorable event on a tight budget?

Budget. The dreaded word that virtually no individual wants to hear.

We are inspired in the design of tight budget events by Will Rogers’ quote, “The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it in your back pocket.” Clever, yet often true.

For private and personal events, we frequently utilize the client’s china, crystal and flatware [often whimsically, mis-matched], to reduce rental costs. We pilfer client’s beautifully decorated homes for unique objets d’arts from exotic global travels or eclectic collections to create fanciful and conversation-starting tablescapes. Depending on the event experience, luxurious linens and table coverings may come from a favorite tapestry, colorful pāreu or textured blanket. Create a warm and welcoming ambiance for your guests by using inexpensive taper and votive candles throughout.

When on a tight budget, use what you have, yet design it with love, layers, innovation, and pure imagination.

If you had unlimited resources, what would your dream client and event look like?

We often fantasize about having infinite funds and complete creative freedom to design exquisite event experiences.

Our dream client/s would be The Royals, both The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – and – The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

With The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Sussex Royal: The Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, both are unique and separate charities providing a timely, strategic focus and philanthropy to today’s world issues. Both thoughtfully attuned and aligned to raising awareness, each charitable event experience would be unique, purposefully designed, respectfully crafted and allow for maximum exposure to specific charitable issues.

While no event would look the same, an imprint of elegance, inspired education, and sincere intention would be established for a complimentary, signature Foundation’s brand identity.

What advice would you give someone who needs to plan a fundraiser but isn’t sure where to start?

Our team is often asked for inexpensive ideas to support not-for-profit organizations and fundraisers. We use our standard list of specific questions for clients to ponder, yet for fundraisers specifically, we focus on the F.U.N.:

– Frame: Similarly to a picture frame, challenge organizations to establish four (4) key bordering goals that are desired to be achieved. Allow individuals or organizations to define for themselves, but contained ideas may be financial targets, desired attendees/support organizations, preferred venue, and location, etc. Defining four main goals allows for a framed, specific focus for all involved.

– Unique + Usable: Define and establish a unique event theme [and marketing tagline, if need be], aligned to the brand’s mission and vision. Weave this throughout all communications and event materials. In respect of costs, ensure any guest invitations, favors, signage, and offerings are thoughtfully designed, reusable and recyclable.

– Negotiate: Leverage any/all personal and professional contacts to navigate and negotiate event contracts.

What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you personally or professionally?

Our team regularly focuses on select charitable organizations with volunteerism and giving back. We recently became involved with Wreaths Across America [ https://wreathsacrossamerica.org ] and Honor Flight Kentucky [ https://honorflightky.org ], two organizations that proudly support veterans.

We also focus on designing event experiences that utilize recyclable and sustainable materials while supporting locally-produced businesses, organic farms, and companies that offer fair trade and sustainably grown product offerings.

Anything else you’d like to comment on while we have you?

As artisans of exquisitely-curated event experiences™, light up our world with color! Share and spread the joy with Festive Fêtes, Luxe Soirées, and Spectacular Weddings.

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”
– Albert Schweitzer

Jeff Hughes
Author: Jeff Hughes

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