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She quit her Adverting/Marketing job 3 years ago to start a cupcake business

Last week I interviewed Veronica Tabares, Owner of Sweet & Tipsy, a cocktails-inspired cupcakes company that is growing (she was just picked up by distributor) and has been featured on Refinery29, Thrillist among other press.

We talked about why she decided to quit her job and start her cupcake business and she shared 3 incredible insights on how she got started and what she did to get her business off the ground.

You can listen to the podcast and read highlights here: Sweet & Tipsy: Networking, Branding, PR and Events.


Leslie O.


Eat. Drink. Be Merry: Ideafest NYC Trade Show Picks!

The annual BizBash Ideafest is a resource and inspiration heaven for event planners.  We gather once a year to see the latest event trends, meet suppliers, experience the entertainment and of course get inspiration from industry leaders.

And since at the core of every great event is delicious foods, plenty of drinks and keeping your guests entertained, I’ve compiled a list of my top Ideafest trade show picks to make sure all basic events needs are covered.


The EATS pick

Above delicious catering from Dean & Deluca, Fig & Olive or even Slate’s sleek food & champagne bar— my Ideafest food pick goes to Oysters XO for their interactive oysters and bubbly bar.  

Photo via: OystersXO

Photo via: OystersXO

Events should be fun and engaging and that’s exactly what Oysters XO does.  I approached the raw shellfish bar and realized the little guys were not yet open or ready for slurping  (they usually are), so I started to slowly walk away from it when Rifko Meier (the owner) stopped me with a big grin.  He came up to me in the most non intimidating manner took an oyster from the ice, placed it on his metal gloves and begun to open it with his special knife all while keeping me engaged with his oysters stories.  I watched in owe and a felt  a bit grateful that he walked me through the unknown.  Guests of most events will appreciate this experience.

Photo via: The London Candy Co.

There were a couple of sweets floating around and my favorites were the rice krispies from Treat House and The London Candy Co, a candy store on Bleecker where you can get any English candy ever imagined.  But it gets better, they carry British Kit Kat! according to Jigs (the owner) it has less sugar and more cacao than the American counterpart. (Tip: perfect for a British theme party)

Best of DrinkPhoto by LeslieOpr

Have you ever had to wait a long time at the bar to be served a cocktail?  If you’ve been to NYC nightclubs or bars chances are you have and I’m sure  you agree that it is incredibly annoying to wait.  The walking human bars are here to solve your line and wait at the bar problem.

This glamorous ensemble was created by the Champagne Creative Group Las Vegas. Simply grand!

Entertainment Picks

There was plenty of entertainment going around at Ideafest and more photobooths than I can handle posing for (yes, that’s really possible!).  Here are my picks for photobooths and other entertainment:


Photography is a MUST for any event and of course it’s even better if involves cool props and backdrops.  Which photobooth fits your event’s personality?

bizbash idea fest photobooths -- whosevent thebooth nycphotobooth motorbooth

The Young, Fun & In The know: Who’s Event is a PR girl’s photobooth dreams come true.  This is my absolute favorite photobooth for during-event marketing because they understand SOCIAL– media that is.  The booth has a tool that allows guests to send their photos directly to their facebook, IG or twitter accounts which will automatically be loaded with a hashtag.   If guests post their pic using their smartphone + your hashtag, they can watch their photos print instantly.

This photobooth equally awesome for other types of event. For example, they have a video feature that’s great for wedding guests to  leave video messages for the bride and groom (sorry guestbook, but your time is up).


The Grown & Sexy: The Booth Photo & Video has the clean and sophisticated look that would go great with upscale events and galas.

The Outdoorsy:  Motorbooth is a fully customizable mobile photobooth truck, great for any outdoor, street or stadium events and festivals.

The Great Gasby: NYC Photobooth is most impressive for speakeasies and 20’s theme parties with its old school photobooth setup– however it is fantastic for any event.

The Party Animal: LA Photo Party had cool features like a 360 degrees photos and cute videos with slow motion animation.  This photobooth is great large nightclub events and pool parties.

The Crafty Gal: Go Flip Yourself is one of the best photobooth video ideas.  You take a short video with really fun props and then you get a little paper flip book souvenir of the video to take home with you.

The Artists & Entertainers

Ed Giordano - caricature -event gift - party sketch

Let your guests take a piece of art home with one of Erin Una’s gorgeous live (fine art) digital and paper paintings or one of Ed Giordano’s caricature which will surely put a smile on their face. Either of these would without a doubt makes a  memorable gift for anyone attending your event.

Other notable entertainment included social butterfly Athena Reich impersonating lady gaga (everyone loves to hang with the stars!); dancers, singers & Performances.  For a full list visit: BizBash Ideafest Exhibitors List


Did you find this useful? come chat with me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LeslieO.PR.Marketing.Events

My favorite backdrop by Productions by Gilad

My favorite backdrop by Productions by Gilad


Ideafest New York 2013 included workshops, innovation forum, tradefloor, performances and an award ceremony.  This conference/tradeshow takes place once a year in Florida, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York.

Workshops were by Gemma Craven, executive vice president and New York group director, Social@Ogilvy; Howard Givner, founder and executive director, Event Leadership Institute; Hillary Harris, executive director, Warner Brothers Studios Special Events; Maya Kalman, C.E.O. and creative director, SWANK Productions; David Adler, C.E.O. and founder, BizBash and others.

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