Cheryl Cecchetto | Founder & President | Sequoia Productions

Sequoia Productions is a full-service event production company specializing in décor and entertainment-driven celebrations, corporate events, and family milestones. Their clients include the Oscars®, the Emmys®, The Australian Government, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, L’Oréal Paris, The Westfield Group, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Special Olympics, Guess and Warner Bros.

Corporate and Social Event Production in the age of COVID-19

The Covid-19 crisis has shaken the event industry to its core, leading many of us to a complete redefinition of what a special event is, as well as its purpose. Fundamental changes to how events are produced and executed are inescapable. Our community is tasked with redefining the very nature of special events, while also exploring, identifying and creating new technological protocols to envision, promote, and construct special events in both the pre and post-vaccine worlds.

As Sequoia Productions negotiates the challenges of social distancing and the elimination of large gatherings in the near future, we have been compelled to connect with our clients, colleagues and friends on a very personal, human level. The Covid-19 restrictions inhibiting our ability to manifest the visceral, in-person human connections we are usually known for are actually bringing us closer together, urging us to seek out each other and build a stronger community. We are discovering a period of introspection within the company, and between Sequoia and our clients, vendors and friends. There is a common experience and shared challenge, amid all the separating, that begs the question, “Where do we go from here?”

For now, and likely for the remainder of 2020, most events remain purely virtual. They will consist solely of on-line elements shared by a remote audience, designed to strengthen relationships and promote client brands. Though not in-person, events will still need to be personal. While events will not have the traditional live production elements, they are not without production requirements, and as such the need for knowledgeable event producers remains. Virtual events will require management of invitations, “save-the-dates”, ticket purchasing, scheduling, guest list and RSVP management, silent and live auctions, donations, event specific websites and chatroom management, etc., all elements Sequoia Productions previously handled for its pre- Covid-19 events.

Sequoia Productions is already fielding requests for high-end virtual and semi-virtual “hybrid” events where multiple production components are required and non-virtual items must be delivered to attendees individually. Hybrid events can include hard product delivered to remote participants; anything from promotional materials to prepared food and Champagne. Sequoia Productions is currently in the exciting process of producing a re-tooled, black-tie event which will take place in 20 locations simultaneously. Each location will have controlled guest counts, socially distanced seating, and identical, custom menus finished in 20 remote kitchens. Guests will be connected to a single live performance main stage via large screen video conferencing, merged with in person performances by 20 unique musical guests at each location. It is a very exciting project and a template which we believe will remain unique and relevant even post-Covid-19.

Even as we map out a new path for the production of virtual events until a vaccine for Covid-19 is available, Sequoia Productions has also been focused on the imminent renaissance of medium-sized, milestone gatherings, especially weddings, for which there is a serious backlog due to Covid- 19 postponements.

Every day we are discovering new venues where reduced scale events can still occur, where we can come together safely to celebrate, such as with a young bride and groom whose wedding we are reimagining together so that it can still be the happiest day of their lives. Together, the events industry will get through this. We still learn and grow and do what we do best, which is to bring dreams to life and bring people closer together.

One-Stop-Shop – Event Design, Production and Management

Sequoia Productions supports clients by providing an efficient production model. Its vast experience and capabilities in event design, production, and management make it specifically adept at ensuring the entire process is efficiently orchestrated. Team members all share the same mandate – to elevate their client’s vision and forge a reality beyond expectations. Sequoia Productions’ diverse portfolio of events highlights the uniqueness of each project, reflecting the essential distinctiveness of every client’s vision, goals, personal taste and corporate culture.

Technology Platforms and Event Production

In an increasingly competitive industry, the use of technology and the immediacy of access to information have been transformative in the production of events. Technology has revolutionized how Sequoia Productions conducts business, from how it provides mockups and ideas to clients to how production managers communicate during an event. In the continually evolving special events marketplace, efficiency, creativity, and customizable service are critical to success. Technology allows team members and clients to be interconnected through all stages of an event, together nurturing the vision. The use of technology showcases Sequoia Productions capabilities and versality. Creating specialized project teams is essential to producing exceptional events. Sequoia’s in-house pool of twenty producers, coordinators, and administrative personnel provide the resources to make that happen. The efficiency built into their corporate and production models benefits their client’s budget and each project’s deliverability. The use of project management programs such as Microsoft Teams and Slack has streamlined the teams’ work and communications. These platforms provide the teams with cost-effective methods to manage and co-create complex productions that often involve thousands of individuals and transactions.

Through software platforms including AutoCAD, InDesign and Rhino, Sequoia Productions can vividly illustrate to the client proposed concepts and designs. Each project team is able to clearly demonstrate the evolution of a client’s vision via computer-generated artist conceptions, as well as animated video and schematics, many of which are adjustable in real time. Offering expedient, tangible options via computer modeling is essential to maintaining Sequoia Productions’ competitive edge.

Gary Levitt [Partner | EVP] routinely evaluates the technology options available and upgrades the Company’s production technology to ensure optimum efficiency. In the end, Sequoia Production’s exceptional team of event specialists drives the business, while technology ensures that visibility and operational efficiency remain ahead of the curve.

Educating the Audience and Inspiring Clients

In the crowded field of event producers and designers, word of mouth and real-time messaging from customers and their guests at events has proven to be instrumental in driving prospective customers to investigate and ultimately hire Sequoia Productions. Maintaining a strong visible presence in the cyber marketplace has been an essential link to educating potential clients about the Company’s ability to deliver events with an almost endless number of design and concept possibilities. Ultimately, the objective is to establish a personal contact with a prospective client in order to zero in on their unique culture, personal style, and specific goals to and demonstrate that Sequoia Productions can deliver the event they desire.

Creative and Managerial Responsibilities

Cheryl Cecchetto – Founder and President began Sequoia Productions in Los Angeles in the late 1980s before the world of “Special Events” existed as a stand-alone business sector. The company has grown in tandem with the industry, with service and innovation as Cecchetto’s guiding mantras. As the world of special events evolves and diversifies, Cecchetto and her team of producers, designers and support staff oversee an increasingly comprehensive repertoire of creative, production and managerial responsibilities.

Exploring new Ideas to Enhance and Evolve

The most striking transformation in event design and content is the evolution of immersive guest experiences where the lines between audience, performers, and décor are blurred or practically non-existent. The event environment can be completely altered through the use of cutting-edge technology in concert with physical elements, creating transformational environments via sounds, sights, textures, fragrances and taste sensations. Sequoia’s extensive, 30-plus years of service is grounded in the classic event experience with all eyes on emerging technology and future trends.

Comprehensive Consulting Services

Sequoia also offers comprehensive consulting services to architects and construction companies focusing on integrating event infrastructure and technologies into existing and new-build venues, creating state-of-the-art event facilities. Sequoia Productions is continually exploring new opportunities and partnerships locally, nationally, and globally.

Utilizing Social Media to Share Event Experiences

The company positions their strategic messaging in the special event ethos on various platforms including Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn, as well as on their website showcasing imagery from their latest corporate productions and social celebrations. Messaging highlights the unique, custom-designed nature of Sequoia’s events and their up-to-the-minute acumen in fashion, design and technology trends. Website: www.sequoiaprod.com Cheryl photography provided by Chris Schmitt Cheryl photo shoot venue provided by NeueHouse, Hollywood.

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