I am pleased to report that Chef Creole, the Urban League of Broward County and Hosanna 4 Youth left event goers speechless this weekend! Collectively, these entities warmed my marketing soul as they used events to increase brand awareness and community engagement. Having a passion for events, I encourage entrepreneurs to go beyond typical media ads, digital posts and radio slots and create a unique experience that your community is unlikely to ever forget.
Chef Ken Sejour Wilkinson, owner of Chef Creole, a Miami based restaurant serving Haitian cuisine out of 5 locations, stirred up excitement by opening his sixth restaurant, the latest located at the Miami International Airport. It was a joyous occasion as Chef Sejour aka Chef Creole celebrated 26 years in business. Guests networked, ate, danced, took selfies and energized the airport outshining the Ethiopian Airport grand opening happening simultaneously. A Haitian Junkanoo band opened the event before Yours Truly, Crystal Chanel (The MOC) took the mic and started the program. There was an opening prayer, followed by words from the airport director, proclamations from Congresswoman Frederica Wilson and State Representative Barbara Jordan. Chef Creole gave the closing remarks before ribbon cutting. It was a moment in time that family, friends and colleagues will never forget. (http://www.chefcreole.com)
A few days later, The Urban League of Broward County hosted its annual Red Gala with the theme : Agents of the Future. Gala goers arrived at the Diplomat Beach Resort to a networking/silent auction welcome reception. Drinks flowed as guests waltzed around the lobby dressed in glitter, sequins, and everything out of this world before entering the dinner room. The dining room was ready for the future with flat screen TVs visible from any angle and electronic tablets displaying the event program, menu and so much more to save paper. Host Calvin Hughes of Channel 10 introduced the speakers and award recipients whose mission aligned with The Urban League to positively impact the underprivileged and underserved sectors of society. The event was well attended, and I am certain donors were satisfied with how their financial contributions were used. (https://www.ulbroward.org/donate).
Hosanna 4 Youth, a nonprofit organization, rounded out the weekend with their No More Family Secrets Luncheon bringing awareness, education and resources to anyone affected by molestation, incest and rape. It was a heavy event for me to host, but the mission of protecting the village from predators is vital. Abuse survivor and Author Jonathan Spikes boldly shared a riveting testimony. My Soul is Bleeding Monologuers delivered a powerful performance and Hosanna 4 Youth Founder Angine Moss delivered a testimony that shook the ground. She recovered from molestation, promiscuity, and drug addiction to establish Hosanna 4 Youth five years ago as a community resource to help survivors not only survive but thrive. (cash app to donate $Hosanna4Youth.)
Events like the ones mentioned above provide an interactive experience for supporters, as well as an opportunity to authentically connect with the brand. I took pictures with Chef Creole and exchanged business cards with his supporters. The Urban League CEO Germain Baugh touched our hearts with her vision and accomplishments and hearing the stories of abuse survivors at Hosanna 4 Youth made me realize we have an obligation to be better friends, parents and members of society. Some things cannot be expressed in a 30 second radio or tv spot or 154 characters on Twitter. Some things must be experienced, so at this time, I say thank you to Chef Creole, The Urban League and Hosanna 4 Youth for an amazing experience. I know the communities you serve will be back for more. Additional event recap pictures can be found on my social media pages.
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