Events

Brighten Up Your Summer Events With These Theme Ideas and Tips

Brighten Up Your Summer Events With These Theme Ideas and Tips

Renting a venue is just the first step to making your summer corporate event a success. You need to bring in the bright, exciting feel of summer so that your guests are glad to have chosen your presentation over other possible activities. Here are some ideas that should give you inspiration for planning your expo:

First, a Caveat: Make Sure the Theme Resonates with Your Brand

If your theme is summery, but doesn't tie into your brand's image, you'll miss a powerful marketing opportunity. Be sure to keep your event on-point as well as fun. This way, your guests will firmly connect your brand with the experience rather than thinking of it as a generic sponsor.

Roses and Wine

The aforementioned roses and wine theme was done to great success by Kim Crawford Wines, which wanted announce its new rose wine in grand style. It filled its area with roses and even had a bar made of live rose bushes. The roses were very summery, and they tied in perfectly with the launch of the new rose wine. On top of that, there were enough roses that just looking at the event area made an indelible impression – and connection with the advertised product.

A Rocking Summer Night

This type of theme is great for many companies that cater to younger audiences, but it's perfect for companies associated with making rock music. What better way to show off instruments, amps, stage lighting rigs, and other musical equipment than to have people come and experience the sounds and sights of professionals using the products? Hold the party outdoors under strung-up lights for that summer feel.

Have a Barbecue Party

Everyone loves to eat, and barbecuing is a quintessentially summer activity. This makes a barbecue a perfect event for any company that wants to be seen as fun and exciting while avoiding faddish trendiness. For maximum impact, make the event large enough for a huge number of guests and cook the food over one or more showy firepits.

Always Make Sure Everyone is Comfortable

The level of comfort expected will depend on your audience and the type of event you're holding, but it's always important to avoid the chance of outright misery. For outdoor events, one great way to do this is to offer branded umbrellas. If the event is on the upper-class end, provide them as part of the package. Otherwise, set up kiosks and sell them at reasonable prices. Be sure to keep the cost within the "impulse buy" range – the more people buy them, the more your brand and event name will be seen later on!

Other ways to ensure comfort include providing cushioned seating, decent plates and utensils, and easy-to-navigate pathways between tables or exhibits. If your event uses disposable serveware, be sure to have plenty of trash cans and recycle bins set up so people can conveniently offload them once they're done with their food and drinks.

For a spacious event space in sunny Miami, consider Soho Studios. We have both indoor and outdoor areas that can be customized to match any theme you choose.

Join Marshmello and Friends Live at Soho Studios!

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The Miami area is always a great place to have some fun, and the upcoming Marshmello and Friends concert at Soho Studios is one terrific example of what the city has to offer. This energetic performer always gives the crowds what they want, while putting on one heck of a magical mystery show. You will definitely want to come over to Soho Studios on March 22, 2017 to catch this unique show. Really, you've never seen anything like it, and it's something you won't forget any time soon. If you are already familiar with Marshmello's performances, then you have an idea of what to expect, and a good reason to get excited. If you're new to this creative entertainer's engaging performances, you're in for a real treat.

For those who aren't familiar with Marshmello, get ready to be amazed. You see, the identity of the performer known as Marshmello is unknown. That's right. He performs for crowds of thousands, but no one knows who he really is. He keeps his identity carefully hidden under a smiling white marshmallow mask and signature long-sleeved white t-shirt. Legend says Marshmello is really DJ Chris Comstock, who also goes by the name Dotcom; this suggestion is largely based on their similar tattoos and music styles. Still, no one knows for sure except Marshmello himself and his closest friends and co-performers.

Marshmello first appeared on the popular music scene on March 3, 2015, when he posted a song called WaVeZ on SoundCloud. He began to release more songs on SoundCloud, and, as he did so, he gathered support from well-known DJs like Skrillex. These famous DJs helped the enigmatic Marshmello become even more famous by reposting his songs on their own SoundCloud pages.

Eventually, Marshmello became well known enough to release an album, which he did on January 8, 2016. The album, called Joytime, had ten tracks on it, and was produced by his own label, Joytime Collective. The album hit the top of the iTunes electronic albums chart the day he released it.

This intriguing performer does remixes of the songs of other artists, as well as his own original music. His style is heavy on electronic dance music with strong bass lines, with elements of groove-oriented synth. During the course of his brand new career, Marshmello has already performed at such prestigious locations as Pier 94 in New York, the HARD Day of the Dead festival in California, and Miami's own Music Week.

We know you will love your night out at Soho Studios to immerse yourself in Marshmello's uplifting, danceable show.  This is one show you've got to see to believe.  Make sure to get your tickets so you don't miss a great time in Miami on March 22.  Tickets go on sale TODAY, February 13, 2017!  Click here to get yours!

 

How Demos Can Boost Your Brand Awareness

In the world of marketing, brand awareness is paramount. More often than not, product and service demos are solid foundations. If you want to boost sales, increase awareness and maximize your outreach, you’ll need to prioritize presentation, usability and—most of all—excitement. Check out the top reasons brands are demonstrating with demos, and redefine your marketing strategy from the ground up.

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Reason One: Higher Sales

Using demos is smart, sales-wise. In fact, a lot of brands are optimizing their expenses to streamline in-store samples and demos. Studies prove that in-store demos boost same-day sales, brand franchise sales and long-term consumer habits. Even if you’re not a food provider, samples exist in other forms. That said, food-based samples alone can greatly impact sales. As an example, Costco samples reportedly boost sales by approximately 2,000 percent.

Reason Two: Lead Generation

Today, everything is digital. Because your consumers are using smartphones, Facebook and instant-access eCommerce portals, you’ll need to prioritize your brand’s lead generation power. How? By inviting consumers to receive special deals via SMS, email and social media posts. Consumers love free demos—especially if there’s little work involved. By offering demos, samples and discounts via a digital marketing strategy, you can boost your brand’s lead generation before buyers show up.

Reason Three: More Testimonials

In our highly digital world, positive online reviews are must-haves. Brands capable of inspiring high emotional intensity, on average, achieve three times as many positive reviews as other brands. Highly differentiated brands, too, earn positive word-of-mouth. If you can woo your customers with solid demos, exhibits and free trials, you’ll be set. Prioritize your brand’s emotional appeal, first. Then, focus on general marketing tactics.

Reason Four: Ongoing Sales Security

A solid demo campaign can boost sales over time. This is why marketers often take the experiential route—as they can reduce expenses by combining PR campaigns with on-location demo events. Immediate sales are important, sure, but they’re incomparable to ongoing sales-centric campaigns. If you can offer a solid demo, you can ensure registry sign-ups. From there, you’re established to re-promote, gain more followers and ensure future success.

Reason Five: Immediate Feedback

Because today’s feedback channels are often brand forums, review websites and social media, a little on-location feedback never hurts. Ask your demo crowd if the product works. More importantly: Ask them what they liked specifically. If they don’t purchase the product after, ask them why.

In any event, more information is better. Consumer participation is incredibly valuable, and it can power long-term brand campaigns. In the marketing world, getting experiential never hurts. In fact, it’s becoming a mainstream approach for many companies. When everyone can promote digitally, hands-on demonstrations are highly memorable.

The Golden Globes: What Were Our Favorite Events of the Night

We at Soho Studios appreciate a good party. The Golden Globes red carpet was packed with extravagance, innovation and today’s hottest talent. Sure, the Golden Globes as a whole was unique, awesome and memorable. A few events stood out, however, and we want to give them praise.

Moët & Chandon "Toast for a Cause"

First, we want to tip our hats to Moët & Chandon, which celebrated its 26th anniversary. Serving up crisp champagne, Moët & Chandon highlighted the Golden Globes way of live by putting visitors first. It also established a black-and-gold display. The scenic bar, outfitted for its “Toast for a Cause” drive, partnered with celebs to raise charity money. Moët & Chandon vowed to donate $1,000 in the names of donating celebrities, as well as another $1,000 per funded participant.

The HBO Golden Globes Party

At the center of the Golden Globes extravaganza, HBO worked with long-term event design partner Billy Butchkavitz. The annual bash was invigorated with a minimalist approach, and vibrant patters certainly paired well with its soothing color palette. Even though it was a Golden Globes experience, HBO decked out the area with khaki, gray, silver and champagne. Sometimes, sharp attention is needed to pool off soothing vibes.

The Fox and Hulu Party

On the event’s other end, Fox partnered with Hulu and 15/40 Productions to host the event’s annual afterparty. The Fox and Hulu party featured 800 floating lanterns, a free-formed chandelier and a night-sky view. Playing upon the industry’s high-tech strives, the party focused on glowing stone walls: Stone, metal, air and earth were each paid generous attention, serving as the event’s focal point and frame alike.

The Weinstein Company and Netflix Golden Globes Party

Finally, we feel it’s important to pay homage to Best Events—which crafted a fine-detail environment packed with dramatic drapery, skylight greenery and beautiful chandeliers. What began as an initiative to block out nearby construction sights became a full-fledged, immersive environment. Best Events assisted the Weinstein Company, serving craft cocktails at chocolate bars. Best Events, here, targeted a mixture of modern lounge and art deco. Maintaining a neutral color palette and luxury accents, it succeeded in creating a “space between spaces”

The Golden Globes were wild. The target of W magazine, anniversaries and marketing initiatives, the Golden Globes existed as a high-energy fair of intrigue. Sometimes, it’s best to party. Often, event marketing innovation can be found in celebrations of entertainment. Temporary spaces are unique, and they’re certainly worthy study material. The Golden Globes were hot, packed with gold-blocked bars, red carpets and celeb appearances. At the end of the day, art and culture are one in the same.

How to Host the Ultimate Virtual Reality Event

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Many brands are helped by the creation of a feeling of excitement and physical activity. The hard part is getting people to feel like they're part of this action. Most people aren't athletes and have a hard time imagining themselves doing strenuous physical activity, especially when that activity involves something unique like riding a zip line or playing football like a pro. One of the easiest ways to jump this hurdle is to provide the audience with a virtual reality experience. Thanks to the development of VR goggles, there's no need for expensive 360-degree surround screens to get the job done. Virtual reality also allows for user participation, so it's far more immersive than any regular movie.

Combining Virtual Reality with the Rest of Your Event

Even with virtual reality, you need more elements to keep people excited all through your event. Keeping some traditional elements, such as display booths and presentations, will help get people in the mindset to consider your company's products and services. It will also allow you to build up the excitement for the virtual reality portion.

One thing you'll need to consider is how to handle the scheduling for your VR show. Each set of goggles is an investment, so you might not want to buy 200-300 pairs. Instead, it's usually best to have the audience come through in smaller batches so you can use far fewer goggles. Staggering arrival times will keep your attendees from having boring waiting times.

What Types of Content Work Well with Virtual Reality?

Action content is one of the most popular types for conversion to virtual reality. One great example is SAP's Quarterback Challenge, which puts participants on an NFL field in the quarterback position. Eye position, combined with a handheld controller, determine where the ball goes and how hard it is thrown. Sports fans love this sort of experience.

Another excellent example is IBM's cycling-based demonstration, which promotes its Watson Analytics system. Cyclers are subjected to a variety of wind and road conditions, all without leaving their seats.

Virtual reality is also great for explaining details about products, services, and processes. One company uses it to transport viewers to an active construction site, where they get to see exactly how to install its products. Another, a brewery, gives an in-depth look at their processes.

This technology is sure to become a standard part of events in years to come, but don't wait for that to happen. Get started with it now to position your company as a creative leader.

Of course, a comfortable venue is essential to any corporate or entertainment event. Contact us here at Soho Studios for the perfect venue for your extravaganza.

Why Beam Suntory Wants to Educate its Consumers

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Beam Suntory has a good reputation, and it’s been busy redefining its marketing strategies. Mixing the consumer’s love for its time-tested-and-true spirit with a little creativity, the U.S. bourbon company created new categories of entertainment and education.

All About the Pop-Up Shop

The brand camped out in John F. Kennedy International Airport, offering providers an unforgettable experience via a wonderful taste campaign. Its Bourbon Legends pop-up in Terminal 4 wasn’t simply a tasting stand. It was an entire experience.

Beam Suntory’s Bourbon Legends program isn’t new, either. It debuted at John F. Kennedy Airport last fall, highlighting the brand’s massive bourbon collection. Among these were its much-loved Maker’s Mark and Jim Beam. The sampling campaign was successful—earning a spot in August for a reboot.

A Record-Number Success

Where pop-up stands are concerned, Beam Suntory couldn’t have struck closer to gold. It hit the airport’s arrival and departure sweet spot, engaging the location’s record-high visitation numbers. Both international and domestic travelers were exposed to the pop-up stand, highlighting their 2016 trips with bourbon-fueled fun.

Much of Beam Suntory’s success is due to its positioning. Within an airport space, passerby have time. More importantly, they have time to kill. Airport denizens may be a hustled bunch, but they’re constantly ready to stop, shop and explore new brand opportunities.

The One-On-One Education Counter

Packed with aged barrels, classic designs and age-old attributions to bourbon culture, Beam Suntory’s pop-up space prioritized a rustic vibe encasing fantastic artwork. Here, the brand’s 221 years of success was the focus. Informing customers about its bourbon collection’s best ingredients, Beam Suntory created an education counter built to last. The “mini master classes,” as they were called, gave brand viewers the freedom needed to explore everything Beam Suntory. The event’s own Bourbon Legends pocket handbook was given out, helping bourbon-lovers with product information.

Of course, no product promotion is without purchasing options. Beam Suntory created a small gift program—a leather bottle protector giveaway—to visitors spending over $75 in the terminal’s pop-up shop.

A Classic Approach to a Classic Brand

Beam Suntory is well-received by its audience. It’s repeatedly been aligned with America’s best bourbon options, and its adherence to classic recipes certainly gives it a leg up in today’s marketing world.

An American airport location is fitting, then, to promote the brand’s constant ability to please bourbon connoisseurs. Sometimes, a truly American experience must take place in a truly American destination. One of the more creative pop-up locations chosen by liquor providers, JFK Airport certainly promoted a positive sales atmosphere. Whether it was the wood paneling or 2016’s dizzying travel months, the brand hit success in little to no time at all.

If your company is looking for a venue for its own experiential marketing event, check out our studio spaces.  Our multiple event spaces are perfect for events of various sizes, so you can be sure that you can fit any size crowd inside. Whether you're planning one event or a multi-venue tour, make sure one of your stops is at Soho Studios!

Why Brands are Placing Value on Live Events

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Live events have always been a valuable component of any marketing strategy. However, in the 21st century, the value for brands of hosting live events has grown exponentially. In a world where customers might interact primarily, or even entirely with a company, on-line, a live event might be the only chance that a brand has to impress a customer in a face to face interaction. Here's a quick look at how three brands are taking advantage of what live events have to offer.

  1. Casper is a mattress company which Forbes called a mattress disruptor over the summer after it revealed it was on track to reach $200 million in sales. The company sells mattresses online, delivering them in a box. and because of reduced overhead, is able to offer prices that are greatly reduced from the traditional showroom model. However, if there was ever an industry in which consumers would desire an in-person shopping experience, the chance to check out the feeling of a mattress would be it. One way that Casper combats this is by offering a free 100 day return period. And the other method is to host live events. From a nationwide "Nap Tour" to events that combine rock climbing and free beer, these live events simultaneously serve to provide the traditional marketing value of live events, while also giving consumers an opportunity to experience the product.
  2. Zappos, an on-line shoe retailer, is in a similar situation to Casper, in that it sells a product that consumers have a vested interest in being able to interact with before purchase. While at this point, consumers are much more accustomed to buying (and returning) shoes on-line than buying a mattress, the company still values the in-person interaction. Catherine Cook, the company's awareness marketing and public relations associate, puts it this way, "we love to get in front of our customers. We love to get that one-to-one connection; we call it the personal-emotional connection—really creating solid conversations and getting good feedback from our customers, and just talking to them because it’s not something we get to do often." In 2013, the company moved their headquarters from Henderson, Nevada to downtown Las Vegas, where they built the "Downtown Project." The innovative campus, which would be at home in Austin, Texas or Silicon Valley, features an area built from shipping containers, designed to host events, creating a community that serves as a model for the company throughout the country.
  3. Tinder. While finding love on-line will always lead to in-person interactions when successful, that in-person interaction is between consumers, not directly with the company; the brand might play no role in that interaction. When using a dating service, people are engaging with a company on an intimate level, making themselves vulnerable, yet it's not unusual to have any direct interaction with that company outside of the digital world. By having live events, Tinder is creating a more direct relationship with users and as Josh Metz, the company's director of marketing, points out, "we like to keep the brand relevant and cool and it’s a great way to reach our target audience." One of Tinder's first advertising partners was Bud Light, and the campaign allowed users to "swipe right" in order to win the chance to attend Bud Light hosted live event parties, called "Whatever, USA."

If your company is looking for a venue for its own live event, check out Soho Studios in Miami, Florida. Our multiple event spaces are perfect for big events of various sizes, so you can be sure that you can fit a huge crowd inside. Whether you're planning one event or a multi-venue tour, make sure one of your stops is at Soho Studios!

Toilet Paper Wall at New York Fashion Week

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Even toilet-paper gets its kicks in fashion. This year, Cottonelle created a highly unique offshoot beauty lounge to spruce up New York Fashion Week and change up typically showcased brands. Both creative and memorable, the toilet-paper brand’s hosted lounge created a variety of excitement-packed options for event-goers.

Pampering in Style

The toilet-paper market is tough to market. It isn’t, however, exclusive to typical comfort commercials. Cottonelle’s approach, harnessing the triumvirate of promotional power—gifts, celebs and media—took Fashion Week by storm with a rather ornamental element.

Attendees were pampered, offered photo ops, gifted with Cottonelle gift bags and were given meetings with industry influencers. Taking place at SoHo’s Openhouse, Cottonelle’s beauty lounge created, yes, an entire wall out of toilet paper rolls. The rolls, designed and placed along the wall, created a photo booth backdrop to encourage hygiene-related poses.

The Method and the Meaning

Cottonelle’s toilet paper wall was created to boost its CleanRipple Texture toilet-paper—which is one of the brand’s own innovations. Designed to clean better, CleanRipple Texture toilet-paper definitely benefits from an “all hygiene, no nonsense” marketing effort.

Cottonelle’s approach worked, too. Senior associate brand manager, Jeremy DeWitt, considered the event to be a major success, setting Cottonelle apart from typically flat patterns, uninspired visitation booths and, of course, the brand’s leading competitors. The toilet-paper industry, itself, is difficult to compete in due to the product’s marketing monopoly on television time. That said, experiential approaches certainly exist—and Cottonelle has hit it right on the head.

More than a Showcase

Cottonelle’s display, in essence, was a consumer visual test for CleanRipple’s design. The product’s showcase, being out front and center, was a compelling feature reveal. While a highly forward approach to display marketing, the massive toilet-paper wall wasn’t necessarily off-putting. Here, the brand’s dedication to its beauty lounge takes the main stage. Its attention to consumer interaction—and not only detail—won its visitor population’s heart.

The Sponsors and Affiliates

Few experiential marketing efforts, today, are solo efforts. Cottonelle utilized its big-industry brand partners to breathe life into the event, backing a truly unique idea with truly resourceful entities. Corso Coffee, Pulsaderm, YouCam Makeup and Nonni’s Foods, all sponsors and partners, directly assisted the beauty lounge’s creation.

Integrating sponsors into experiential approaches can be difficult, but Cottonelle’s resounding support reveals quite a lot about its strategy. Primarily, it works. Secondarily, it displays an overarching inclination to try new things. Few marketing creators have the intensity, the openness and the creativity to display toilet paper on a wall, but Cottonelle’s display proves such a venture is, indeed, a successful one. The event’s success is likely attributed to its initially bizarre ideation, right alongside its solid approach to practical marketing.

Pokémon Go: How Can Event Planners Use this New Trend

Without a doubt you've heard about this craze that is sweeping not only the United States, but the entire world. Perhaps you're even an avid player. In fact, chances are good that you are. Few apps have seen such fast success, or put out such incredible numbers of engagement at any point during their existence. Released in the United States on July 6, the app had more downloads from the Apple iTunes store than any other app in history in its first week, and on Android devices, the app was being used twice as much as Facebook. What can an event planner learn from all of this record breaking user engagement?

How is Pokémon Go Different?

The popularity of apps ebb and flow. Every so often, a new trend will stick around, but regardless of staying power, there is one thing that truly sets Pokémon Go apart from the rest, something that event planners in particular should take notice of. While many popular social media sites like Instagram or Snapchat will encourage users to go out in the world to get better pictures or stories, it's completely up to the user how and where to go, and a creative user can use those services to equally great effect by staying home. But Pokémon Go, by its nature as a location based game with a virtual reality component, dictates the terms of where its users must go to participate.

Already events and businesses have been noting the success of Pokémon Go, and taking advantage of the game directly, from the Republican Convention setting up as a Pokémon Gym (a place where players can battle each other) to a Hillary Clinton campaign event hosted at a Pokéstop (where players can catch Pokémon), it's use as an effective engagement tool, is one thing both sides of the aisle can agree on. At the recent Comic Con convention in San Diego, they created a tie-in by including pointers on where to hunt Pokémon in their city guide and a New York chocolate shop has been creating Pokémon chocolates and offering discounts to players. At this time, there is no way to interact directly with game creators for sponsorship, but there are lots of opportunities to reference the game. But there's even more to be learned.

Using Augmented Reality to Create a Real World Adventure Based on a Great Story

As Woody Allen once said, "Showing up is 80 per cent of success." For the event planners, getting their target audience to show up can feel like the single factor that determines success. In the very beginning of its popularity, a lot was made about the fitness benefits of the game, and with good reason. The first person to "catch 'em all" dropped eight pounds in two weeks. What is it about this game that gets people to leave the many conveniences of the contemporary world, from endless streaming video services, to top video games, to whiling away hours on Facebook?

Pokémon has been around for 20 years, and while enjoying a similar sort of popularity in the 90s, it's current incarnation transcends age. As any great marketer well knows, getting successful engagement is all about having a great story. But the genius of Pokémon Go lies in its integration of that strong backstory with the latest technology, from geolocation to virtual reality. By combining a gaming aspect, with a fun competitive edge, they have done a remarkable job of getting people to leave their arm chairs and engage.

At Soho Studios we take great pride in offering the cutting edge of event planning services along with state of the art and beautiful spaces. To find out how you can apply more of the lessons of the success of Pokémon Go to your next event, give us a call.

Miami Film Month June 2016 - Summer Film Fun for Everyone

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At Soho Studios, we get excited about local events, and we are excited about all the great events taking place in Miami during June for Miami Film Month. The entire month is packed with exciting things to do, and here are a few of the events you do not want to miss. Multiple film festivals are taking place during Miami Film Month, and from June 15-19, 2016 you will have the chance to check out the American Black Film Festival, which works to bring more awareness to entertainment content that’s made about and by individuals of African descent. Not only will you get the chance to enjoy the festival, but it’s also a great way to support equal opportunities for black artists within the film industry.

Whether you are a fan of critically acclaimed, internationally renowned, or independent films, local Miami art cinemas are showing something for everyone during the month of June, which we are thrilled to hear. To celebrate Miami Film Month, participating art cinemas are offering $8 films, which means you will want to take advantage of this deal and enjoy as many great films as possible. Participating cinemas include the Miami Beach Cinematheque, Bill Cosford Cinema, O Cinema Wynwood, Coral Gables Art Cinema, and MDC’s Tower Theater.

A huge part of Miami Film Month is the big video contest, and this year the contest is for videos that show off the multicultural culinary scene that we have so come to appreciate in Miami. Not only will William Vela, director of the Miami Short Film Festival, be critiquing the top videos, the winning video will be shown at the Miami Short Film Festival later, which takes place later in the year. Winners will also have their videos screened at the closing Miami Film Month event on June 30, 2016, which will take place at the Little Haiti Cultural Center.

Even the Perez Art Museum Miami is getting involved in the Miami Film Month action, featuring a special film installation that is being added to the museum’s permanent collection, Luanada-Kinshasa by Stan Douglas. This piece will not only be shown during the month of June, but throughout the entire summer in PAMM’s auditorium.

From exciting $8 films at local art cinemas to incredible film festivals, there is so much going on this month to celebrate Miami Film Month. We’re excited to get in on the action, and you’re sure to find an event you enjoy in the city this month.