Fairplex Snapshot: Farm Weddings

One of the many perks of being in Southern California is the glorious weather, all year long. The Farm at Fairplex is perfect for those looking for a rustic setting for their vows.

Whether it’s spring, summer, fall or winter, our Farm is always ready for your special day. Learn more about our outdoor venue options at SheratonFairplex.com!

Fairplex Weekend Recap: Expo-mania

We had quite the busy weekend at Fairplex! Because we’re such a large campus, it’s common to have several events going at once, which is how we found ourselves playing host to four shows in two days!

In one hall we had folks shopping for their next home improvement project at the Spring Home & Garden Show, while in another we had gold and treasure enthusiasts networking, shopping and swapping prospecting tips.

In yet another hall we had Bride World Expo where wedding planners, bridesmaids and soon-to-be brides and grooms shopped wedding dresses, cakes, decor, photographers, videographers, florists and all the other Big Day essentials.

76hellokitty Fairplex Weekend Recap: Expo mania

Photo Cred: @76hellokitty

Meanwhile in Expo Halls 6 & 7 there was an overflow of animals and their pet owners. Along with the usual crowd of dogs and cats there were pigs, llamas, a miniature pony and camel (yes… a camel.) We loved seeing all our guests, two and four-legged alike, having a great time!

petexpoUGC cowboy theaussiepup Fairplex Weekend Recap: Expo mania

Photo Cred: @cowboy_theaussiepup

See what’s next for us on our Events Calendar! Don’t forget to tag us in your photos for a chance to be featured on our Facebook and Instagram channels.

L.A. Weekender: Gardens, puppies and brides (oh my!)

Happy Friday! The past couple days have been pretty rainy but we’re looking at perfect Southern California temperatures this weekend, which we’re ready to enjoy! We have a lot happening this weekend at Fairplex (what else is new). Check out what we have in store for you on today’s edition of the L.A. Weekender:

animal dog pet cute 1024x682 L.A. Weekender: Gardens, puppies and brides (oh my!) The SoCal Pet Expo is coming to Fairplex this weekend! 

Big Spring Home & Garden Show (Feb 19-21): If you’ve been meaning to start a new home improvement project or are renovating your home altogether, the Home & Garden Show is a great place to get started. View live demonstrations, attend seminars and get ideas for your next indoor and outdoor projects. For more info, click here.

Public Auction (Feb 19-20): Shop vehicles and motor equipment at the Public Auction this weekend, held on our White Ave. lot. Cars, trucks, vans and other vehicles will be available for sale. For more info, click here.

SoCal Pet Expo (Feb 20-21): It’s pets, pets, pets galore at Fairplex this weekend and we can’t wait! Shop the latest treats, toys and accessories for your animals, watch agility demonstrations, take advantage of the free nail trimming, get discounted vaccinations and even participate in the pet costume contest. If you have been thinking about adopting a new furry friend, adoptions will also be happening all weekend. For more info visit socalpetexpo.com.

Gold & Treasure Show (Feb 20-21): Learn to pan for gold, hear lectures on modern day gold hunting techniques and win prizes at the Gold & Treasure Show. Although the gold mining craze may have ended decades ago, there is plenty of gold to be found all over the United States. For more info, click here.

Bride World Expo (Feb 21): Wedding planning can be stressful. Save time, gas and money at the Bride World Expo this weekend. Shop hundreds of photographers, entertainers, florists, gowns, invitation and photo booth vendors in one spot. It’s never too early to start planning! For more info, visit brideworld.com.

The Fairplex L.A. Weekender is a calendar of weekend events throughout Los Angeles County, from the heart of downtown to the beach cities to the IE. Additional information about all listings can be found at the event’s official website. If you have suggestions for an event, leave a comment in the box below or email us at tanji@fairplex.com

Wedding Decor 101: Inspiration From Our Fair-y Tale Weddings

The flurry of holiday engagement announcements have died down and wedding planning season is officially here. Since the Bride World Expo is at Fairplex this weekend we decided it was time to write a little post on weddings.

A couple years ago we hosted a series of Fair-y Tale Weddings at the LA County Fair. It was hot and it was crowded, but the wedding ceremonies were absolutely beautiful. Here are a few DIY decor tips as you start your own planning:

Tip #1: The decor is in the details
Our first Fair-y Tale Wedding was held on Picnic Hill, so of course we had a picnic theme! We chose the colors and theme before doing any purchasing or other decision making. We made sure every detail matched the color scheme and overall theme of the day, from the miniature picnic basket party favors to the wild flowers in mason jars.

picnic hill wedding 2 940x1024 Wedding Decor 101: Inspiration From Our Fair y Tale Weddings

As you begin to choose flowers, table centerpieces, cakes and reception layout, having a color scheme and theme in place will help keep you focused and give you the time and mindset to add those little touches.

Tip #2: A few simple pieces go a long way
Our second wedding was an intimate, summery affair held in the Wedding Gardens at the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel. We didn’t want the decor to be too decadent for this simple ceremony and we were able to put together a very cute, photo-friendly spread as part of the reception. 

sheraton wedding 1 1024x682 Wedding Decor 101: Inspiration From Our Fair y Tale Weddings

By adding a few extra touches — real lemons, pendants and crates holding candy jars and treats — we transformed a simple picnic table into a lovely party spread.

Tip #3: Play to the venue itself
Our final wedding took place on The Farm at Fairplex. It only made sense to choose a rustic theme for this happily-ever-after ceremony. We used hay bales for seats, hanging picture frames for photo opps and an endless amount of wildflowers, lace and pastel to accentuate the Farm’s natural setting.

farm wedding 1 713x1024 Wedding Decor 101: Inspiration From Our Fair y Tale Weddings

If you’re planning on doing most of the wedding decor yourself, we recommend taking a look at wedding blogs and the mother of all DIY, Pinterest to get started. It is possible to create a fairy tale wedding on a low budget with just a little creativity and know-how!

Fairplex Snapshot: 4th of July Wedding at the Sheraton

11 bridesmaids. 11 groomsmen. Eight musical numbers. One pair of happy newlyweds. This 4th of July the Sheraton Hotel played host to Augie and Crystal’s gorgeous wedding ceremony and reception. We can’t wait to spill the whole story to you, but here is a quick snapshot of their big day:

Congratulations to the happy couple! 

Event Industry News: Weddings at the Los Angeles County Fair

Wedding Cover Photo Event Industry News: Weddings at the Los Angeles County Fair

Fair-y Tale Weddings at LACF: For the first time in history, Fairplex will host four free weddings during the Los Angeles County Fair (LACF). For the past two months couples from all over the country have submitted entries in hopes of being chosen for a wedding at the Fair.

Four winning couples will receive weddings that include the venue (one of four unique locations within the Fairgrounds), decor, flower arrangements, lighting/sound, a wedding officiate, champagne toast, wedding cake, guest invitations and party favors, an overnight stay at the Sheraton Honeymoon Suite and of course, a full day of fun at LACF.

The competition comes to a close on Monday, May 12 during which time a panel of judges will decide who will say “I do” at the Fair.

Tapatio-Spiked Pineapple Cilantro Chili Sorbet in LA: In celebration of Cinco de Mayo, CoolHaus has partnered with The Hundreds x Tapatio to bring Angelenos the limited-edition Tapatio-Spiked Pineapple Cilantro Chili Sorbet. It tastes exactly like it sounds. Instead of fudge or sprinkles, the already-spicy dessert will come doused in the ever-popular Tapatio sauce.

Introducing the new Snapchat

Social Media: Snapchat introduced direct messaging and live video chat to users on Thursday of last week. The latest upgrade is a hybrid of Instagram Direct and FaceTime, albeit all messages, photos and videos are deleted as soon as they are read by the recipient. The upgrade also included a new look, with minimalism font and design. Users are still able to send photo/video to multiple users and the My Story feature.

Our bi-weekly Event Industry News post includes event trends, social media and technology industry updates and events news from Los Angeles County.

4 Wedding Trends for 2013 (Weddings Part 3)

At long last we have reached the end of our Weddings series.

Parts 1 and 2 focused on building a working relationship with your client and creating a unique experience for them. Part 3 will conclude our series with a look into wedding trends for the upcoming season.

What’s out: The past few years have seen an abundance of rustic romance: mason jars, barns, antiques and wildflowers seemed to take precedence over crystal, satin, ballrooms and roses. Now the trends are taking a turn back towards sophistication.

Like the rest of the event world, the wedding industry is closing up shop on the short-lived rustic simplicity trend and turning to elegance.

What’s in: Of course, when it comes to weddings, tastes are as diverse as the bride & groom themselves. However, this is what the industry is buzzing about:

Trend #1: Green

Mint Green1 300x300 4 Wedding Trends for 2013 (Weddings Part 3)


The color, not the movement (although going green is also a trend prediction.) Already listed as the color of the year, several wedding experts predict green will be a favorite color theme. Other colors include bright red and violet hues.

Trend #2: Themed weddings

A carnival circus, camping (yep, its a thing), the Wizard of Oz… Couples are beginning to think outside-the-church, going outside of traditional venues and customs and doing things their own way. A wedding in the sky is now just one of many fun themes.

“Themed weddings are becoming more common,” Pamela Neman, Sheraton Fairplex Hotel sales manager says. “It’s less about tradition now and more about the individual couple.”

Trend #3: The English Garden

Nina and Hong 247 4 Wedding Trends for 2013 (Weddings Part 3)


For the past two years peonies and garden roses have been on high demand from many brides and the trend isn’t slowing down now. This year’s bouquets and centerpieces are designed to be lavish in style and rich in color.

Trend #4: Fresh & local fare

According to Elizabeth Creasey, a Los Angeles caterer, fresh and local are two of the most popular requests when planning menus for brides. Though rare, hotels and restaurants with on-site farms are in the perfect position to cater to these events.

veggies 4 Wedding Trends for 2013 (Weddings Part 3) For example, McKinley’s Grille, adjacent to the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel, creates the majority of meals from the fresh ingredients taken from McKinley’s Farm, the onsite urban garden. All catering and dining services reflect those menus.

Colorful bridesmaid dresses, fun and original wedding themes, an abundance of English flora and freshly made gourmet fare seem to be on the horizon for weddings in 2013. Is it really goodbye mason jars, hello crystal vases? Is it a fond farewell to walking down the church aisle and a hallelujah skip down the garden path instead?

Really, the bride is the one who makes the call. It is the venues, caterers and wedding planners who need to anticipate every whim and fancy, trending or not.

But that’s the fun of it.


5 Ways to Keep a Bridezilla Happy (Weddings Part 2)

Bridezilla main1 5 Ways to Keep a Bridezilla Happy (Weddings Part 2) When it comes to weddings let’s be honest: It’s all about the bride. And her mom.

Whether you’re a hotel, a restaurant, a museum or a country club, your willingness to accommodate, communicate and facilitate a wedding is crucial in building business AND in keeping your customer calm.

Here are five tips for keeping even the most temperamental of bridezillas happy:

1. Com·mu·ni·cate
When drafting and reviewing the contract between you and the bride make sure everyone is on the same page. Establish your role: you are a business, not a personal assistant. This is the time to get a clear picture of what the bride wants for her wedding. But signing a contract is only the first step. As a venue host, keep in constant contact with your bride, from day one all the way to the day of “I do.” Schedule meetings throughout the planning process between yourself, the wedding planner and the bride.

Let her know about your venue’s policies regarding all things: catering, floral arrangements, alcohol and fire regulations, room capacity, extra fees, the whole nine yards. Most important, keep tabs on the details. The last thing your client needs is you failing to tell them that the bridesmaids juggling flaming batons down the aisle just isn’t gonna fly.

2. The Center of Attention: Population Bride
Some people act as if its all about them. And in this case, it is. It’s about the bride, the groom and their big day. They are thinking of family expectations, bridal parties, honeymoon, reception, clothing, food, band vs DJ and  then actually paying for the whole thing. Their stress levels are on high so try your best to be understanding. While it’s never acceptable for a bride to be rude, being sympathetic and anticipating her needs will make things easier for her. Remember: This is (usually) her first time planning her wedding. You are the expert here.

3. Operation Organization
Know your stuff. Know your bride’s stuff. Keep up-to-date with preparations and work with her to keep your ducks all in a row. Lock down the number of guests attending, seating arrangements, DJ or band placement, technology needs, parking issues, dining options, noise level, time slots for wedding and reception etc.

4882b4965cd6462cf3b64c55ac39c9ea 300x216 5 Ways to Keep a Bridezilla Happy (Weddings Part 2)


4. Be creative (within reason)
One of my favorite parts about wedding venues is when a blank canvas transforms into something beautiful and original, a perfect tribute to the ceremony about to take place. And it doesn’t happen by magic. A ballroom, a courtyard, a barn, a theme park, a vineyard… whatever your space is, work with your bride to create a space unique to her taste.

Lay out all the options: floral arrangements, linen choices, lighting and other elements of decor. Know your floor space and the various layouts. Chances are, the bride has gone Pinterest-happy and has quite a few good ideas up her sleeve too.

5. Be present
Follow through. From the initial planning stages all the way to the execution of the event, make sure you are available for the bride and that she knows you are accessible. At her beck and call? Not necessarily. Overseer of execution? Absolutely.

A different kind of love story (Weddings Part 1)


0ab7d0f54a9f49d0fc5f6310047cef4f A different kind of love story (Weddings Part 1)


On the surface the wedding industry seems to be all lace and frills and romance and thrills. At its core, this industry is like any other: it’s a business. It’s about acquiring clients, making them happy and building a strong reputation based on previous work.

And yet, the interaction between a wedding planner and the bride is similar to the relationship process.

1. Planner meets client.

Pamela Neman is Sheraton Fairplex‘s catering sales manager. She is the client’s initial contact when exploring Fairplex as a potential venue. The first “date” is spent showing the potential client the various wedding locations on Fairplex campus. This is everything from the traditional hotel and conference center ballrooms to McKinley’s Grille and Farm to the Meritage wine pavilion.

Highlight the best aspects of your venue. One of Fairplex’s advantages is flexible space. “Everyone has a different taste,” Pamela says. “I show them as many areas of our campus as possible.”

2. Planner signs with client.

images A different kind of love story (Weddings Part 1)


If things go well after the initial “date” the client will let you know.  This is where timeliness kicks in. As soon as the client calls or emails, Pamela replies within the hour (no three-day rule for this relationship.) After verbally confirming a partnership, she immediately drafts a contract and sends it to the client to be signed, sealed, delivered, she’s yours.

3. Planner works with client.

After all the paperwork has been pushed it’s time for the fun part: planning. “We review menus and get a feel for what experience they want,” Pamela says. “We write a proposal and see how they like our arrangements. We want to create an experience unique to them, something they will really like” Three months prior to the wedding are food tastings, DJ/band arrangements, the cake and other key elements.

Gorgeous Tribeca Wedding A different kind of love story (Weddings Part 1)


“You need to be organized,” Pamela says with emphasis on the need. “You need to know who the bride’s ‘go-to’ person is, whether its the maid of honor or their personal wedding planner. Start with details and end with details. The little things matter.”

4. Planner keeps client’s best interests at heart.

Know your client on a personal level. “They aren’t just another number,” Pamela says. “They are people. Realize that each client is going to be different… each individual is looking for something different.”

When asked what the most challenging aspect of planning a wedding is, Pamela promptly answered: budget. Unlimited funds are a rarity in this economy. Flexibility is everything.

“The way Sheraton works with tight budgets are with customized menus and spaces; we allow the client to have as much flexibility as possible.”

5. Client marries planner love of their life. Planner looks on with a sense of accomplishment.

4620104663 066d7e4df9 z A different kind of love story (Weddings Part 1)


When it comes to working with a client it’s all about transparency, timeliness and building a strong working relationship. Pamela’s favorite part of the job is the personal relationship she makes with her clients. “The social side of event planning helps you see people differently. It is more personal.”

& they all lived happily ever after.

Stay tuned for part 2!


A word on weddings

Once upon a time there was a land of deep-fried Twinkies, sparkling Ferris wheels and farm animals. This place was called the L.A. County Fair… 

Fair Blog01 A word on weddings


Every year in September, Fairplex campus transforms into a glittering world of carnival rides, concerts, acrobats and food galore. For the lucky few (1.4 million, to be exact) who journeyed here, this play land will forever be known as the Fair.

Until now.

So exactly what happens when the rides are packed away? Do the grounds just become a wasteland of discarded trash and fading memories? Or are new stories created instead?

The Fair ends but the story is far from over…

Tucked into a corner of Fairplex, often forgotten during the Fair’s bustling presence lies the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel. Between the the hotel pavilions, gardens and ballrooms there are plenty of sites perfect for everyone’s favorite fairy tale: the wedding day.

308541 10150426767129715 121538963 n A word on weddings

Photo by Laurel Isle Photography (laurelislephotography.showitsite.com)

Fairplex specializes in event planning for trade shows, fairs, expos and on an entirely different spectrum, weddings. In this three-part series we will cover the following topics:

1. Clients: How to build a relationship, keep them happy and execute their event flawlessly
2. Creating a unique destination for each new client
3. Up-and-coming trends in the wedding and catering industry

Happy reading!