Tuesday, December 31st

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TICKETS ON SALE NOW!

PB’s LARGEST NYE EXPERIENCE!

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Celebrate 2019 and welcome 2020 with VAVi’s legendary NYE experience at the luxurious Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa overlooking Mission Bay. All inclusive ticket includes drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and four ballrooms filled with top-tier entertainment and DJs.

  • Expanded bar service – more bars and bartenders!
  • Expedited first drink for each party guest
  • Beer tubs to eliminate lines
  • Themed photo booths to help us remember what we might not!

The place to be on NYE in Pacific Beach, featuring DJ’s and Entertainment with Sleeping Giant Music:
DJ lineup announcement coming soon!

OPTIONAL VIP PARTY BOAT UPGRADE!

Includes everything in Main Event General Admission + the following:

Ring in 2020 in style aboard the NYE Beach Party VIP Party Boat. In addition to all the fun and benefits inside the hotel takeover, your VIP Party Boat ticket gets you a cruise around Mission Bay on the 3-story William D. Evans historic Sternwheeler.

Aboard you’ll find multiple decks of music, 2 open bars, a dance floor, buffet appetizers and casino games! VIP space is very limited and typically sells out before General Admission, so don’t wait to grab your spot on this fantastic party boat and upgrade your NYE experience!

There are 2 cruising options:

Departs Catamaran at 8:30pm, returns at approximately 10:00pm. A perfect way to upgrade your pre-party as you get ready to ring in 2020!

Departs Catamaran at 10:45pm, returns at approximately 12:15am. This midnight cruise is the ideal way to start your 2020 in unforgettable style!

Your BEST New Year’s Eve memories are about to be made… we’ll see you there!

What’s Included:

General Admission:

  • All inclusive ticket includes drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and top level local entertainment
  • Expanded bar service – more bars and bartenders!
    • Expedited first drink for each party guest
    • Beer tubs to eliminate lines
  • Four rooms of top-tier entertainment
  • DJ’s and Entertainment with Sleeping Giant Music
  • Themed photo booths to help us remember what we usually don’t!
  • Buy tickets soon to save with lower prices and reserve your spot before we sell out

VIP Upgrade:

Everything in the GA + the following:

  • Come aboard the 3 story William D. Evans VIP Party Boat as it floats around Mission Bay with banging beats on this historic Sternwheeler!
  • Full Casino on board featuring Blackjack, Craps and Roulette!
  • DJs playing music on the dance floor – and throughout the boat!
  • Two Cruise times to choose from:
    • 8:30pm – 10pm* 
    • 10:45pm – 12:15am* – Midnight Cruise!
      *Approximate times

Check Out Last Year's Celebrations!

Friday, October 11th

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VAVi Takes Vegas!

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WAKApalooza™ is the largest annual sports and social festival in the world. Taking place each year in Las Vegas, Nevada, WAKApalooza provides a sports and party experience with the most social and friendly coed adults across the country.

WAKApalooza 2019 will be our biggest yet, with new Friday Foam Dodgeball and Sand Volleyball Tournaments, the same great host hotel, and exclusive access to more of the hottest nightclubs and pool parties in Las Vegas, you’ll have more opportunity to play and party than ever before!

The Fun + Games:

Social Sports Tournaments:

  • The WAKApalooza Fun Games Kickball Tournament – Social Kickball Tournament
  • The Kickball Open – Social Kickball Tournament – Kick-Away Rule Set
  • Founders Cup® World Kickball Championship – Competitive Kickball Tournament – Traditional Rule Set
  • Coed Sand Volleyball Open Tournament – Volleyball Tournament For All Levels
  • Coed Foam Dodgeball Open Tournament – Dodgeball Tournament For All Levels
  • Flip Cup Championships – Social Flip Cup Tournament

Exclusive Parties at 1-OAK + More:

Do Vegas the way it was meant to be done! With a WAKApalooza party wristband, you can gain access to exclusive WAKApalooza pool parties and nightclub parties throughout the weekend at some of Vegas’ top hot spots, including Omnia, Rehab, Hakkasan, and more!

Saturday, Oct 5th

REGISTER HERE>

The VAVi 4Sum Beach Volleyball Tournament is returning to PB Beachfest for the fifth annual event! Each year has sold out so make sure to get your team registered right away!

*Note: The team fee covers a four person roster. Additional players added will be charged $38

Tournament Details:

skill-level-iconAll Levels Welcome

coedCoed Tournament

full-team-icon Full Teams Only

pool-tourney-icon Pool Style Tourney

prizes-icon Awesome Prizes

Challenges in Play:

Losing team may challenge for points off the winning team’s score.

If the winning team accepts then they will create the challenge for the losing team to complete. If the losing team completes the challenge, points are deducted from winning team’s score and the game continues. There is only one challenge per game and no challenges in the single elimination round.
EX: Team must spin in a circle 10 times and immediately begin play – 3pts

Costumes Encouraged!

Prizes will be given to people wearing the most creative costumes

Checkout Our Gallery

Event Name: Volleywood Beach Volleyball Tournament

Location: North Avenue Beach, Chicago Illinois

Cost: ranging from $110-$240 depending on team size

OVERVIEW

This month we were lucky enough to get two big dogs from Chicago for our interview. Chris Hastings and Brian Irving give us the scoop on their most recent big event, Volleywood. Below are the full interviews of both guys. 

Chris Interview

Please give a quick description of your event VOLLEYWOOD? (4-5 sentences about your event).

Volleywood is a sports and entertainment event featuring a 1,200 person+ beach volleyball tournament which includes men’s and women’s qualifying divisions for the AVP, and a 3,000+ person beach party which includes internationally acclaimed DJ acts, a 70,000 square foot beer garden on the beach and twenty+ sponsors activating within the event. It is the second largest event to take place at North Avenue Beach on an annual basis following the Chicago Air and Water Show. 

 

So, how did your event go my friend? 

This year’s Volleywood event was our most challenging to date due to weather issues. We had more teams, more tickets sold, and more sponsors this year than in just about every other year we have held the event. We were poised for one of our best Volleywoods, unfortunately Mother Nature did not cooperate. In the morning on event day 7-foot high waves crashing the shores from Lake Michigan flooded 75% of our courts for the beach volleyball tournament. This happened between 5am-7am and we literally watched it. As I was driving on Lake Shore Drive to the site from my hotel at 4:45am, I saw white caps out of the corner of my eye and I knew that was a bad sign. When we arrived at 5:00 the first thing we did was check the courts, and everything was still okay on our 53 courts. By 5:15 we started losing courts though. 1-2 every 10 minutes. We had to cancel all but 4 divisions and it was the first time we’ve had to cancel on any volleyball teams at one of our tournaments in over twenty years… It was that bad, but the show must go on. With doors opening at 11am for the party, we had to finish getting ready, while also starting the tournament for the 4 divisions we could play. Those included our AVPNext divisions for Men’s and Women’s 2’s which included a $20,000 purse. Leading up to the event all week long there were concerns over the heat (which was 95 degrees with a 110 degree heat index on Friday) for our set up. That’s what we got to on Saturday starting at about 9am after the beach had been flooded by strong winds in the morning. The heat continued and we were prepared with 11,000 bottles of water (9,000 as free samples for hydration) and enough ice to keep the water and products for our bars cold.  We added two EMT teams and ambulance coverage for the event due to the heat concerns and we needed it, treating 5 people for heat related issues during the day. We had to create a heat action plan to go along with our wind and weather action plans which were all reviewed by the Mayor and the OEMC prior to our event. Throughout most of the day, the heat was my biggest concern. I expected later in the day would be when people may have issues, but unexpectedly the weather changed drastically at about 3pm. Much to the delight of our 3,000 party attendees at that time, it felt like someone turned on the air conditioning. Within a few seconds the temperature dropped by over 10 degrees. The crowd cheered. 30 minutes later our stage and sound and lighting crews and I were checking the wind levels and gusts to determine if we needed to evacuate due to high winds. We did not hit that point. The show and the party went on and people were having a great time. At 5:00pm the weather turned again and a storm was about 10 miles out heading our way with lighting and heavy rain. At 5:10 we had to evacuate for safety as the storm hit hard within 5 minutes after that. With our permit to sell alcohol and to have live music ending an hour and a half later there was not time to get things going again after the storm passed so the show was stopped. It was tough. The event still had a great 6 hours, and we finished the tournament on Sunday (despite another two-hour rain delay). The impact of cancellations for our beach volleyball tournament affected about 750 people unfortunately. That was a real bummer. Having to shut the show down early affected 3,000 attendees and although they had an opportunity for 6 hours before then to enjoy outstanding music and an amazing atmosphere and were having a great time, it’s a disappointment to have to end early. The impact for our business was substantial as we lost significant profit. Thankfully the event was still solid in terms of profit, but would have reached much higher levels without the weather issues. 

 

What were some of the highlights of the event? 

On the volleyball side, having the $20,000 purse for our AVPNext level 2’s for men’s and women’s attracted high level talent from all over North America. The volleyball was tremendous. On the party side, our DJ lineup included four international acts and the music was excellent, along with the visual show accompanying the music. The stage was a mesmerizing focal point of the event. Our twenty+ sponsors added interesting elements to the event with activations ranging from body paint, to facials, to sampling vegan sausages, to pop-a-shot contests, to charging stations, group stretches, photo ops, and more.  One last somewhat sick highlight…seeing an ominous shelf cloud over the crowd that was having an incredible time knowing I may need to stop the event. I took some pics and video of the scene thinking to myself “this will either be evidence of how bad the situation was and why we had to call it or an epic pic of a close call”. Unfortunately it’s now a reminder of an amazing event we had to end early.

 

Obviously, some big surprises happened at your event. How did you use your experience to get creative in handling them? 

A lot can happen with any event and you have to be prepared with a plan and the right resources to do your best to manage the issues that come up to create the best possible experience for your participants and attendees. We try to manage most problems with up front preparation and investment in resources. Examples of this include adding 15 volleyball courts in advance of our event that we have not used in previous years due to some challenges that have occurred at the beach this year. It saved the levels of the tourney we were able to have. We ordered additional water and ice and cooling towels in advance of the event to make sure we could help our attendees deal with the heat. Due to the wind overnight there were some issues that came up with our setup that we had to adjust for on the fly to make certain our venue was safe and efficient for participants and sponsors. Additional wind management resources were added day of. Having a predetermined plan to deal with weather problems was key in determining when to call the show due to weather. We were able to safely evacuate all attendees. 

 

With everything that went on during your event, what were your top two takeaways of the day?

  1. Preparation is critical and the more prepared you are the more equipped you are to handle issues that can come up. You cannot be over prepared  
  2. You have to have a good team to be able to produce an event of this size. The team must be experienced and understand the importance of working as a team to create and execute on a successful event.

If you could have one superpower to help you for the day of the event, what would it be and why?

The power to stop weather from affecting the event. I guess Superman powers – the power to blow away the wind and storm. 

 

Would you say your event was more or less successful than the previous Bears season, based on what you were dealt for the day? 

That’s a harsh question Felix! I was at the playoff loss…I think it’s a tie. We had a double-doink that ended our event in a less successful way than how we prepared and executed considering the morning volleyball cancellations and the evening weather stoppage. But like the rest of the Bears season, the rest of our event was outstanding. 

 

Plans for this event in the future?

Bigger and better. We have a history of building the event year after year and this year was on track for that. You have to factor weather into outdoor events so no excuses. In the future we will continue to improve the event and work to lessen the impact that weather can cause. 

How big is sponsorship to this event?

It’s huge. All of our annual sponsors are part of the event along with many others for this event alone. They add to the experience for attendees and add to the bottom line. Makes up about 20% of the bottom line. The impact from the event on sponsors is bigger than that however…it is an important selling point for all of our sponsors. They love the event and look forward to it all year. 

 

Planning an event can be stressful, what are some ways you help your team stay motivated?

Thankfully we have an amazing team that is self motivated and motivated to support each other and be sure not to let each other down. The event is an exciting one to produce so I believe that helps to motivate everyone. I think the best thing we do for motivation is to support each other and work together to create the event. It’s very collaborative and everyone is allowed to make an impact on the event. Everyone has a role that is extremely important. People embrace the challenge and responsibility. There’s a lot of stress for sure – I think everyone recognizes that and supports each other more because of that recognition. 

 

What role do you see social media playing with events going forward? 

Social Media is and will continue to be extremely valuable for promotions for events. It’s crucial for creating organic interest in events which sells tickets or registrations. It’s an effective avenue to create audiences beyond the event attendees for people to experience and engage with the event, and post-event for the memories to live on. For sponsors social media is a valuable medium to tell the story of their brand and connect with people through their integration with the events they sponsor. Sponsors can highlight specific attributes of their brand and reach targeted audiences with relevant messages through social media based on the events they are a part of.  

Biggest learning experience in your event life? 

Probably when I was social chair in my fraternity when I was 19 and I decided we should have a beach party inside our fraternity house. I was inspired by Spring Break I guess. I had to convince 50 other guys we could do it and it was a good idea. I ordered two tons of sand and when the dump truck came and I told them to dump it, two tons of river rocks fell out on our parking lot. I made some calls and got them to correct their mistake and within two hours, we got the sand in and had a great party. The toughest people to convince it was a good idea before the event were the first ones to help remove the sand and clean up when the event was over. I learned that if you push the envelope a bit you can make something memorable happen and it can be worth it. I also learned that whenever you have an event there’s a good chance something is going to go wrong. You have to be ready to deal with it and not quit.  (BTW…The hot tub wasn’t quite as good of an idea)

What athlete would you compare yourself to when it comes to events and why?

Damn Big Cat that’s a helluva question! Since you brought up the Bears I’ll say Jim McMahon. Not the best that ever lived and not perfect but I hope successful, reliable, inspiring and ultimately a leader people enjoy working with. 

What the next big event or move for you with your events department?

Labor Day Weekend beach volleyball tournament – everyone from the SSIA is invited – there’s no better time to be in Chicago! Then on to Bloody Mary Fest, Halloween, Turkey Bowl and three New Year’s Events. Maybe another big one coming up…

Any last words about your event or events, you would like to leave us with?

I think creating and producing events like we all do is a worthy endeavor. The events create joy, life experiences and memories for the attendees and the event producers alike. It isn’t easy and certainly isn’t glamorous but when you do it well it’s a lot of fun and feels really good. 

 

In 3 words or less answer the following topics. I will bring up the subject (in bold) and you give an answer/thoughts in three words or less.

  

  1.   Event world…

always interesting

  1.   Events are moneymakers…

they can be

  1.   Favorite part of an event…

people having fun

  1.   Event of the decade…

Cubs Game 5 (of World Series)

  1.   Chicago 2019/2020 “DA BEARS”…

Super Bowl Champs!

  1.   Key to success

Prepare and execute

Brian Interview

So, how did your event go my friend? 

We arrived at the beach at 5am, after setting up all day ahead of time on Friday, and the beach looked pristine and ready to go.  Within an hour the waves flooded the beach and we lost 26 courts to flooding. We have had a tremendous amount of rain and the lake is at an all time high, so the strong winds on Saturday morning pushed the waves over the sidewalk and break walls and flooded the beach.

What were some of the highlights of the event? 

The highlight was the way our staff handled themselves through oppressive heat (excessive heat warnings both days) on Friday and Saturday and kept a positive attitude and dealt with our participants as best possible despite all of the adversity we were confronted with.

Obviously, some big surprises happened at your event. How did you use your experience to get creative in handling them? 

We have had to get creative over the years and especially this summer at the beach.  We have had a lot of erosion over the years, so in order to accommodate the demand we added a tournament that starts at 2pm to get more teams playing.  Ahead of time we had 40 teams for the 2pm tournament, and we knew with the winds dying and the heat that some of the courts would dry up, so we tried to convince as many people as possible to consider playing in the 2pm tournament.  We also offered some free entry in the Volleywood Beach Bash or tried to convince some people to transfer to our Labor Day Tournament. We tried to supply as many options to help our participants feel like there was some sort of alternative solution despite what mother nature dealt us.

With everything that went on during your event, what were your top two takeaways of the day?

  1. Top two takeaways are that no matter how much you prepare that you can always have unexpected things happen.  You have to always try and roll with the punches and stay true to your core goals as a business. If you show genuine care, concern, and empathy you can for sure overcome even the worst situations.
  2. The second takeaway, is always dress and plan for everything at the beach and bring plenty of zip ties!

If you could have one superpower to help you for the day of the event, what would it be and why?

My superpower would be shop vac arms!  That way you can always drain the puddles on a field or court and play on.

How would you rate your event on a 1-10 scale based on how your team had to deal with? 10 being a Superbowl level and 1 being a Fyre Fest bust?

I would rate our event about a 7.  Those that played had a great time and we were able to not let the other issues an adversity affect the good time had by those able to play.  

Planning an event can be stressful, what are some ways you help your team stay motivated? 

The best way to keep those motivated is to not let things get you too down and also show that you are willing to pitch in and work just as hard as they are, from lugging boxes, staking in tents, to having a good time with them.  Keep it light and loose and show them the same sort of respect and love that you would like to receive.

Biggest learning experience in your event and operations life?

Biggest learning experience is communication is key.  There is no such thing as over communicating.

What athlete would you compare yourself to when it comes to events and why?

I would compare myself to John Stockon.  Willing to mix it up, but content to dish off an assist.   

Any last words about your event or events, you would like to leave us with?

Last words of advice…don’t let the small minority of complaints get you down and shape your opinion of the event or job you are doing.  Just bask in the smiles and good times everyone on site is having and that is what it is all about and why we do this. The compliments down rain in as hard and the complaints, but when they do come in it makes things that much sweeter.      

 

  • Event world…

Takes a village

  • Secret sauce to events…

Staff and preparation

  • Favorite part of events…

Tear down

  • Event of the decade…

Red Bull City Clinch

  • Buffalo Bills 2019/2020 Season… 

Strong to very strong

  • Key to success… 

Hydration, lunch, staff

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Del Mar Opening Day with VAVi

Don your best hats and dress to impress at this year’s Del Mar Opening Day! You’re invited to experience the utmost exclusive and fabulous event with VAVi. Celebrate the return of horse racing season and get your ticket to the most sensational festivity of the year at the Del Mar Race Track.  Get ready to be a part of the greatest party in San Diego! Pick up locations will be Backyard PB, Union Gaslamp and Union Encinitas.

Ticket Package Includes:

  • Pre-Party

    Get the party started early: head over to your PB, Downtown or North County select Sponsor Bar for exclusive access to the Del Mar Opening Day with VAVi Pre Party! Enjoy good company, great vibes and some drink specials before your round trip transport picks you up right outside to take you to The Track!

  • Round Trip Bus Transportation

    Your round trip bus transportation will pick you up right outside of your Pre Party! Buses will be fully stocked with beer and other alcohol, plus you can bring your own. All buses will have working AC and stereo system so you can keep the party cool.

  • VIP Entrance

    Once you arrive at The Track – don’t worry about hanging around in lines, waiting to get in. VAVi has your hookup with exclusive VIP access to the race track. Your bus will drop you off right by the VIP entrance so ‘comfortable shoes’ are NOT needed!

  • Access to ‘The Party'

    Not only does your Del Mar Opening Day with VAVi include your ticket to the track, but you also get access to ‘The Party’. VAVi will have it’s own exclusive section for you here which will include additional seating and that all important shade. There will also be additional bars and betting booths in this section!

Opening Day Ticket Package

$78
  • Early Bird SOLD OUT 
  • Regular SOLD OUT 
  • Final Pricing SOLD OUT 
  • Last Call

MORE DETAILS:

pre-party_del-mar-opening-day

Pre Party

Get the party started early: head over to your Backyard PB, Union Gaslamp or Union Encinitas for exclusive access to the Del Mar Opening Day with VAVi Pre Party! Enjoy good company, great vibes and some drink specials before your round trip transport picks you up right outside to take you to The Track!

Round Trip Transportation

Your round trip bus transportation will pick you up right outside of your Pre Party! Buses will be fully stocked with Coors Light, Skrewball Whiskey, CaliFino Tequila. Svedka Vodka and Cutwater Spirits Cocktails plus non-alcoholic drinks. All buses will have working AC and stereo system so you can keep the party cool.

bus-transportation_del-mar-opening-day

vip-access_del-mar-opening-day

VIP Entrance

Once you arrive at The Track – don’t worry about hanging around in lines, waiting to get in. VAVi has your hookup with exclusive VIP access to the race track. Your bus will drop you off right by the VIP entrance so ‘comfortable shoes’ are NOT needed!

Access to 'The Party'

Not only does your Del Mar Opening Day with VAVi include your ticket to the track, but you also get access to ‘The Party’. VAVi will have it’s own exclusive section for you here which will include additional seating and that all important shade. There will also be additional bars and betting booths in this section!

the-party_del-mar-opening-day

BETTING

Always wanted to bet at the Race Tracks but have no idea how? Check out THIS BLOG to learn how to bet and what your betting options are. You’re welcome 🙂

TAVERN AT THE BEACH • MAY 19TH

RSVP HERE:

First Name *

Last Name *

Birthday

Mobile / Cell Phone

Postal/ZIP Code

Sports Interest

Complimentary drinks, appetizers + more!

VAVi is excited to announce our next Players Party at Tavern at The Beach in PB!

We will be holding your Players Party on May 19th. Join us from 12 – 4pm at Tavern in PB where we’ll be hosting a free (first come first serve) BBQ including complimentary drinks on VAVi plus some fun games. Winning teams take home cool prizes.

 Don’t be left out, RSVP to get your name on the list and secure your spot at the Players Party – space is limited!

All attendees MUST RSVP to get on the list.

Drink Specials:

  • $3 Coors Light
  • $4 Jameson shots
  • $5 Shark Bites (Malibu, Blue Curacao and Grenadine)

FREE RSVP HERE

First Name *

Last Name *

VAVi’s is taking over OMNIA for the Summer Players Party!

Join VAVi on May 18th for an unforgettable night of fun at OMNIA!

VAVi will be taking over OMNIA to offer you an hour of complimentary HOSTED BAR with FREE RSVP! Dress to impress and enjoy your complimentary drinks – exclusively for VAVi Players – from 9:30-10:30pm then stay for the after party with Wild @ Heart.

RSVP now to get on the Guestlist for The Takeover!

Event Name: Atlanta Grilled Cheese Fest

Date: 4/13/19

Time: 11:30am – 6pm

Cost: GA: $28 (avg.) Grilled Cheese Lovers: $40

Activities: Tastings, Live Music, Tailgate Games, Bloody Mary Garden, Kidzone, Community Vendors

Event Producers: Atlanta Sport and Social Club

Number of participants: 4,400

Contact info: Catie@atlantasportandsocialclub.com or Michelle@atlantasportandsocialclub.com

Fun Facts about the Atlanta Grilled Cheese Event

A FOOD FESTIVAL OF DELICIOUS PROPORTIONS The Atlanta Grilled Cheese Festival is coming BACK in 2019 for our cheesiest fest yet on Saturday, April 13th, 2019! Join us to celebrate #NationalGrilledCheeseDay this year with restaurants from all over Atlanta serving up bites of melty, cheesy goodness for your tasting pleasure.

General Admission Tickets include admission to the festival, your first (3) grilled cheese samples, plus live music, and access to our Adult Game Zone and Bloody Mary Garden (21+ if applicable).

​Cheese Lover’s Tickets include admission to the festival, your first (6) grilled cheese samples, event koozie, and (2) beer/wines, plus live music, and access to our Adult Game Zone and Bloody Mary Garden (21+ if applicable).

Question & Answer on the Atlanta Grilled Cheese Fest

Interviewer- Felix Goodson, SSIA Events Chair and your Friend

Interviewee- Michelle Fasig, Event Manager, Atlanta Sport and Social

How did your event go?

The event went great! We had over 25 participating restaurants this year serving over 50 different versions of Grilled Cheese. The People’s Choice Winner of the day was from Babalu: Deep Fried Muenster Grilled Cheese with Roasted Tomatoes and Candied Bacon. Who doesn’t love deep fried cheese?

Did you hit your goal on numbers of people and overall profit? We did hit our attendance goal, but are still hoping to grow the event even more. As far as profit, we are happy with what we brought in- the Bloody Mary Garden was a huge success- but what we are even more pleased with is the fact that we raised over $5,000 for our charity partners in one afternoon.

What were some of highlights besides the fact that grilled cheese was your main pleaser? We booked some awesome local bands for the event this year that brought a very fun vibe to the overall event. The other biggest crowd pleaser had to have been the Bloody Mary Garden- that tent was consistently slammed. We invited local food vendors to provide samples for the Bloody Marys to “customize” their drink- the bourbon bacon was a huge hit. We also had a build your own toppings bar, multiple types of hot sauce, and three different types of Bloody Mary options. This space was strictly 21+ and included Giant Jenga, corn hole and separate hi-tops. I think attendees appreciated an adult-only zone. We didn’t leave the kids out completely though, we also had a kid zone.

How many pounds of Grilled Cheese were consumed at the event? Over 1,500 lbs. of cheese were harmed in the making of this festival.

What one item did you do different from last year to this year that made a big difference in the right direction? One of the most time consuming and challenging pieces of producing this event is connecting with the restaurants and selling them on the concept. Explaining to a seafood restaurant or a healthy food truck why they should spend their Saturday at our event serving grilled cheese samples when it’s out of their wheelhouse can be a longer conversation. This year we brought on a local PR firm who specializes in the restaurant industry, Via Failla LLC, to help expedite those conversations. This was a game changer for us, as it helped open doors to multiple top Atlanta restaurants and got a lot of attention on social media.

What’s that one item you could of done to make it just a little more over the top? I would love to have everyone at check-in in Grilled Cheese costumes. Or, maybe we even have a “cheesy” costume contest. There are lot of fun ideas left to explore with this concept. Maybe next year the trophies we give out to our first place winners are giant cheese shaped trophies?

Any surprises that you could share that just happen in the event world? Nothing will ever be perfect and event day will be spent pivoting and changing things on the fly. At this event specifically, we had over 75 different vendors including sponsors, community vendors and restaurants. Each of those has their own individual needs and questions. The day of the event is making sure all of these people have what they need to succeed and make the experience fun for attendees. We are a pretty difficult team to “surprise” at this point, but that’s the whole point- we never know what could happen. That’s part of the fun.

If you had one superpower you could have for event day what would it be and why? (Ex. Being invisible/see through things/lift anything?) Super strength and flying for sure! Super strength just because I feel like I’m constantly moving things around and would love to be able to scoop everything up in one go. Flying for two reasons, one so I can get to places a little quicker without snaking through the crowds, but also to give my feet a break.

Any advice on someone thinking about trying an event like yours in the future? Start recruiting restaurants as soon as possible and be prepared to talk numbers and marketing opportunities first thing. Know your expected attendance, how many food items they need to prepare and their expected revenue, but at the same time- keep it short and sweet. For an event this scale, all forms of communication quickly become your lifeline. I let all my vendors have my cell phone number and was able to answer quick questions via text when I was out of the office.

How would you have rated your own event from a scale of 1-10…10 being a Super Bowl level event and 1 being a Fyre Festival bust? Based on my own experience, attendee feedback and vendor feedback- I’d place us at a solid 8. Our team rocked this event and the majority of attendees had a “gouda” time! That being said, we get better and better each year- so there is always opportunity to get even better.

What would you say is the most interesting vibe about your event compared to the other copy cats? Our team has a passion for creating unique, memorable experiences. The most interesting vibe is our attention to the little moments throughout the festival. Attendees had the opportunity to “text to vote” for their favorite sandwich at the event, we had local amateur chefs compete in a head to head competition to see who could cook up the best grilled cheese, we had a full kid zone with face painters, festival games and balloon animals and unique vendor experiences like a shopping boutique inside a bus! While the event is all about the Grilled Cheese, we pay attention to additional ways to engage our attendees and keep them interested at every stop at the event.

Plans for this event in the future? To continue to scale. I would also love to see the competition part of this festival take off. We’ve been toying with it and tweaking it over the past few years, and it is another layer of this festival that gets our chefs and restaurants really excited. They all get super competitive and put out some ridiculous and delicious combinations.

Where do you envision this event in 5 years? I can see this event quickly outgrowing the space we grew into this year- Atlantic Station. In five years, I have no doubts that we will be able to get 40-50+ restaurants onboard and take over an even larger footprint. I don’t see the cheese fandom dying down anytime soon, and I am just excited to continue to find ways to scale this event while incorporating different twists each year.

Thank you Michelle for all your answers and sharing your experience. I am sure our readers will get a few gems out of this recap.

Readers, please let me know if you found this Q&A helpful. Feedback and questions always welcome. If you have an event you want highlighted or would like to see some other questions asked for future events please email felix@govavi.com.

PADRES VS GIANTS

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General Admission

$38

Upper Pavilion

Prices subject to change

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What You Get

  • GAME TICKET in the VAVi Section (Upgraded Field Pavillion or Upper Deck Seating)
  • Access to the PRE-PARTY TAKEOVER at The Deck at Moonshine Flats
  • 1 DRINK TICKET + Games and Giveaways at Pre-Party
  • After-Party VIP ENTRANCE with wristband (pending capacity)

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For customer service inquiries and seating requests please contact Nicky at nlithgow@govavi.com.

It’s the home opener weekend for the Padres and they’re taking on the 2014 World Series Champions, the Giants. Start the season off right with a party and go see the game live with VAVi!

Experience the MLB like never before: Pre-game with VAVi, enjoy games, giveaways, drinks, music and more, then once the game starts, head into exclusive seating in our VAVi section in Petco Park! After the game head over to The Deck for VIP entrance to the after party.

See photos from 2018 here!

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For customer service inquiries and seating requests please contact Nicky at nlithgow@govavi.com.

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Are you ready for baseball season? The San Diego Padres 2019 four-game series opener is just a few days away. Watch as the Padres take on the 2014 World Series Champions, the Giants

Baseball is one of America’s favorite pastime. So, what could be better than sitting in the sun, drinking beers and eating good food with your friends, and watching the game. Well, we at VAVi can make this experience even better.

How?

You get access to the Pre-Party at The Deck at Moonshine Flats with a FREE drink ticket included. It’s also conveniently right across the street from Petco Park. Enjoy good music, games, and the chance to win giveaways. After the game you can head over to The Deck for VIP entrance to the after party.

Why Join?

No other site offers you exclusive seating, a free drink, or access to the best Pre-game. There is not better way than to start the day off on a good note by celebrating one of the best weekends in baseball with the VAVi Squad. Plus you’ll end up saving yourself some money by avoiding an expensive Uber drive to the stadium when everyone is heading to the same place. Arrive early, enjoy some drinks, and party with VAVi. I promise it will be a home run!

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