Top 25 Live Events of 2013

When people look at back at Hurricane's 2013, it'll be highlighted by expanding its reach across the northeast. Hurricane used the powerful tool of social media content and marketing to move into other markets.

A strategy that kicked off 2013 with a press conference that announced the company's expansion to Boston, Hurricane saw a boost in regional exposure.

Aside from the live events documented in this post, Hurricane owners/founders Strato Doumanis and Vincent Velasquez created consultation sessions with mid-sized businesses in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. The seminars used Hurricane Productions' marketing model in the private events platform to demonstrate how to grow brands online.

A majority of 2013's events featured unique hashtags that helped clients share moments via photos and videos on Instagram but also stream and print pics in real-time at each unique event.

Here's a look at the top 25 live events of 2013:

25. Christina and Shanna's Wedding


When: June 1, 2013
Where: Rutgers Gardens - New Brunswick, NJ

The Story:
Christina and Shanna celebrated a wedding during a summer that rewrote a history in NJ that previously did not recognize same-sex marriages.

The couple chose the hashtag #cswed2013 which helped Hurricane collect over 200 photos from family and friends on Instagram. The pics streamed to a screen setup by the bar and printed as photo favors for guests.

#cswed2013 on Instagram
Recap Album on Facebook
Read reviews from brides and grooms on Wedding Wire

24. Raven's Sweet 16

When: February 8, 2013
Where: Terrace on the Park - Queens, NY

The Story: The largest snowstorm of the 2013 winter season coincided with Raven's Sweet 16 celebration in Flushing, NY. Even a 'New York State of Emergency' couldn't keep the NJ-based company out of the city.

Hurricane shipped up its guaranteed crew of an emcee, DJ, lighting technician, dancer, photographer and videographer to entertain and capture the event.

Recap album on Facebook

23. Phi Sigma Sigma Centennial Celebration


When: July 10-14, 2013
Where: Crowne Plaza Times Square, Hunter College, The Loeb Boathouse in Central Park, Roosevelt Island - New York, NY

The Story:
Hurricane's strong ties to Rutgers University helped the company land Phi Sigma Sigma's National Centennial Celebration in New York City.

Alumnae from around the country converged in Manhattan. With a staff that consisted of a photographer and an editor, Hurricane documented the nine-event conference that spanned over four days in different locations throughout the city. Hurricane compiled the photo media and created a slideshow in real-time at the event's finale dinner.

Hurricane also provided music and entertainment at some of the festivities.

#phisig100 on Instagram

22. Nicole's Sweet 16


When: July 28, 2013
Where: The Waterview - Monroe, CT

The Story:
When Hurricane announced its expansion to Boston, it helped one of its strongest brands - Sweet 16 events - reach areas of Connecticut where families search for companies that offer a complete portfolio and entertainment presentation.

The key component to an expansion is having the right people in place - like General Manager Julia Crimi - to optimize communication and manage clients' needs and expectations.

Nicole's family used Hurricane's online event planning as well e-mail and phone as means to communicate and plan the event. They never met any of the staff in-person until the day of the event.

#nromeos16 on Instagram
Recap album on Facebook

21. Jason's Bar Mitzvah

When: November 9, 2013
Where: Emerald Ballroom - Radisson Hotel - Freehold, NJ

The Story:
Jason's family is one of many who returned to Hurricane Productions this year for another family celebration. Hurricane entertained Alyssa's Sweet 16 (Jason's older sister) four years ago.

Jason's mom and dad first met Hurricane owners Vincent and Strato in their own kitchen before the duo opened an office in Red Bank in 2011.

Benny K served as the event's lead entertainer. But one of coolest elements of this Bar Mitzvah was the amount of time and detail displayed in Name in Light gobo and screen animation design created by Strato.

Recap album on Facebook

20. Anthony and Tiffany's Wedding


When: August 17, 2013
Where: Franklin Plaza - Troy, NY

The Story:
The power of video led Anthony and Tiffany to Hurricane Productions through YouTube. The couple lives in Florida but family ties up in New York prompted the duo to search for entertainment that could deliver in front of a wide audience.

Anthony and Tiffany video conferenced via Facetime and used the Hurricane online wedding planner to organize the music and timeline for their event.

Hosted in Troy, NY, the wedding featured entertainment, lighting design and decor.

Read reviews from brides and grooms on Wedding Wire

19. Alexa's Sweet 16

When: November 2, 2013
Where: Branches Catering - West Long Branch, NJ

The Story:
There's no better compliment in the business than working for someone who is also in the industry. Alexa's family is a partner at Branches Catering. They see events each weekend accompanied by a variety of vendors in each niche and speciality.

Hurricane provided entertainment, video, and an Instagram photo booth for Alexa's Halloween-themed Sweet 16.

Add Hurricane Pulse and Instagram to your event

18. Dianna and Dave's Wedding

stockton-seaview-resort-and-spa-wedding-18 2

When: May 11, 2013
Where: Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club - Galloway, NJ

The Story:
Weddings aren't just for twenty-somethings. Hurricane entertains a number of weddings for older couples each year. The customer service that Hurricane offers all of it clients makes it easy for couples to customize music, choose photography options and capture the event with high-definition video.

Hurricane provided the full spectrum of services that included all three of those services for Dianna and Dave.

Recap album on Facebook
Read reviews from brides and grooms on Wedding Wire

17. Ally's Sweet 16

When: May 4, 2013
Where: Razberry's - Flemington, NJ

The Story:
It's hard to find full-service entertainment in the western counties of New Jersey. Although companies offer some services, few can do it all at a high-level.

Ally walked into her event flanked by photographers waiting to snap her picture at a Hollywood-style 'Step and Repeat.' She entered her room to see a custom Name in Lights design and high-definition screens featuring music videos and Instagram photos around the dance floor.

Hurricane designed her logo, printed her 'Step and Repeat,' and provided entertainment, photo and video for her event.

#allysixteen on Instagram
Recap album on Facebook

16. Sara Frances' Sweet 16


When: September 14, 2013
Where: Roma View - Howard Beach, NY

The Story:
After doing some searching on Google - we think she stumbled upon our snow video from Raven's Sweet 16 in neighboring Flushing - Sara's family booked Hurricane for its high-quality entertainment and design portfolio.

Sara's family took a trip out to Red Bank to meet with Hurricane so that they could customize each element of her Paris-themed Sweet 16.

The event featured entertainment, photography, videography, and an Instagram photo booth from Hurricane Productions.

#sarafrances16 on Instagram
Recap album on Facebook

15. Daniela's Quinceañera


When: April 26, 2013
Where: Fiesta Banquets - Wood Ridge, NJ

The Story:
Being an entertainment company in the northeast means that different styles of personnel and entertainment appeal to different demographics. That's why Hurricane offers bilingual emcees and entertainers for special events like Quinceañeras.

Daniela's event featured all custom features such as Name in Lights and photography. But the key to success to Daniela's celebration was offering her family an event rooted in tradition.

En Español: Quinceañera by Hurricane Productions entertainment demo
Recap album on Facebook

14. Lindsey and Joe's Wedding


When: May 5, 2013
Where: The Channel Club - Monmouth Beach, NJ

The Story:
The Channel Club is in the midst of major renovations in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. But the venue is right in Hurricane Productions' backyard - making it a great choice for couples that seek in-person customer service from the Red Bank-based office.

Lindsey and Joe celebrated their wedding on a Sunday in early May - a great kickoff to the spring wedding season.

Recap album on Facebook
Read reviews from brides and grooms on Wedding Wire

13. Samantha and Jack's Wedding


When: June 7, 2013
Where: The Mansion - Voorhees, NJ

The Story:
Samantha and Jack celebrated their wedding in South Jersey - right in Philadelphia's suburbs. The couple met at Rutgers and chose Hurricane Productions because of the company's close ties with the State University.

Hurricane provided sound for both the ceremony and cocktail in separate locations of the venue and lighting and entertainment for the reception.

Photo credit: Douglas Photographics

Read reviews from brides and grooms on Wedding Wire

12. Nidya and Frank's Wedding


When: Ocotber 11, 2013
Where: Crystal Ballroom - Freehold, NJ

The Story:
Nidya and Frank carried a vintage wedding style with class and distinction throughout their entire event. The couple chose Hurricane Productions for their wedding because of their mutual relationship with Rutgers University. Hurricane Productions provided entertainment, screens, montage service and lighting for their event.

Screens with a custom animation displayed a professionally compiled photo montage for all guests to enjoy.

Full ballroom uplighting in an amber hue to complimented the fall theme and atmosphere for the event.

Read reviews from brides and grooms on Wedding Wire
Recap album on Facebook

11. Krista and Dan's Wedding


When: May 31, 2013
Where: The Oyster Point Hotel - Red Bank, NJ

The Story:
If there's one bride that any prospective couple should speak to about a fun, interactive wedding experience, just talk to Krista.

Krista met Vincent during her days as a reporter at the Daily Targum at Rutgers University.

Krista and Dan took full advantage of Hurricane’s online wedding planner application, giving specific musical preferences; even planning a flash mob that took the whole reception by surprise. Under the expertise of Hurricane’s lighting designers, the ballroom was adorned with intelligent lighting that complimented the evening’s nautical motif. DJ Strato Doumanis skillfully commanded the eager-to-dance guests the whole night, blending 80′s hits (the bride and groom’s favorite) with modern dance music and classics to get the whole room involved in the fun.

Krista and Dan even took a page from Hurricane Productions' book, employing a special hashtag to use for any social media content posted from their wedding.

Photo Credit: Sarah Postma Photography

#kristaanddan on Instagram
Read reviews from brides and grooms on Wedding Wire

10. Erin and Dan's Wedding


When: October 13, 2013
Where: The Sterling Ballroom - Eatontown, NJ

The Story:
Erin originally met Hurricane Productions owners Vincent Velasquez and Strato Doumanis when they were all students at St. John Vianney High School in 2003. She chose them for her Sweet 16 later tha year. Ten years later she returned to Hurricane to asked for them to be a part of her wedding day.

Aside from entertainment and photography, Hurricane Productions provided uplighting, screens, Hurricane Pulse and a custom monogram gobo.

Hurricane Pulse allowed guests to interact during the wedding through Instagram and Twitter. Using the tag #dananderin, guests snapped moments that then streamed to screens instantly. These photos were printed and given to guests as favors. A new take on the photobooth, Hurricane Pulse minimizes lines and keeps guests on the dancefloor all night.

Hurricane’s graphic designer worked directly with Dan and Erin to create a custom monogram gobo for the wall that also matched the custom animation on the screens.

Professional photographers provided full-day coverage, from bridal preparations until the very last dance of the night.

#dananderin on Instagram
Read reviews from brides and grooms on Wedding Wire
Recap album on Facebook

9. Amanda's Sweet 16


When: August 29, 2013
Where: The Palace at Somerset Park - Somerset, NJ

The Story:
A year ago when Vincent and Strato reduced their roles in the Hurricane Sweet 16 brand, the duo recruited a core group of talented individuals to deliver a high-quality product week after week.

Amanda's Sweet 16 featured some of Hurricane's up and coming talent as well as its top production features including a 'Step and Repeat,' Instagram photo booth, and photography services.

Recap album on Facebook

8. Michael and Lauren's Wedding


When: July 26, 2013
Where: The Imperia - Somerset, NJ

The Story:
Few clients walk into an office and feel right at home. But Michael and Lauren fit right in with the Hurricane staff during the entire booking and planning process. Their wedding was one of the most dance-floor packed events of 2013.

Michael stayed involved from day one with picking music and organizing the timeline of events. He helped his bride put together a flawless wedding from start to finish using the Hurricane Productions online wedding planner.

Read reviews from brides and grooms on Wedding Wire
Recap album on Facebook

7. Christine and Nick's Wedding

When: April 27, 2013
Where: East Brunswick Chateau - East Brunswick, NJ

The Story:
Christine and Nick jumpstarted a busy wedding season for Hurricane Productions with a 300-person celebration hosted at the East Brunswick Chateau.

When Hurricane introduced a full-service photography and videography service to prospective couples in 2012, Christine and Nick were one of the first to sign on to help build the company's 2013 portfolio experience.

Entertainment included lighting design and screens with custom animations.

Recap album on Facebook
Read reviews from brides and grooms on Wedding Wire

6. Jessica and Darrel's Wedding


When: July 20, 2013
Where: Knob Hill Golf Club - Manalapan, NJ

The Story:
Jessica and Darrel planned to have a destination wedding in 2014 until Jessica’s father was diagnosed with cancer. With that, she and Darrel decided to get married as soon as possible. Once a date was picked they were left with one month to plan an entire wedding.

Their first phone call was to Hurricane Productions to secure entertainment and photography for the wedding. Hurricane Productions provided entertainment for Brittany’s Sweet 16, Jessica’s sister, six months earlier. The family loved the music, energy and design so much that Jessica knew Hurricane would be the perfect fit.

Knob Hill Golf Club also hosted Brittany’s Sweet 16 and welcomed Jessica, Darrel and their family back for the wedding.

Read reviews from brides and grooms on Wedding Wire
Recap album on Facebook

5. Tara and Aaron's Wedding


When: October 27, 2013
Where: Hawk Pointe Golf Club - Washington, NJ

The Story:
Tara and Aaron will be the first couple featured in a new original web series by Hurricane Productions in January 2014. The company sat down with the couple after the wedding in a pub setting and talked about the wedding experience with Hurricane Productions.

Tara and Aaron planned their wedding day meticulously in a way that delivered one of the most visually stunning events of 2013. Tara carefully crafted her logos and design and worked alongside Hurricane to perfect the presentation for her guests.

In the video series Tara says, 'It's all about details.' Stay tuned for the release.

Read reviews from brides and grooms on Wedding Wire
Recap album on Facebook

4. Briel's Sweet 16

When: January 12, 2013
Where: Sheraton - Eatontown, NJ

The Story:
Briel's Sweet 16 kicked off 2013 with the type of event that earned the spot as top Sweet 16 for the year.

Briel's tastefully created 'Victoria's Secret' themed Sweet 16 attracted attention from other clients seeking sleek design and production for their daughter's Sweet 16 in 2013.

Hurricane provided full lighting design and decor and created custom logos that drew inspiration from the Victoria Secret's brand. Briel was also the first event of the year to add an Instagram photo booth to her event.

Briel's family also entrusted Hurricane to capture professional photography and videography from the event.

#briel16 on Instagram
Recap album on Facebook

3. Dance Marathon 2013

When: April 6-7, 2013
Where: College Avenue Gymnasium - Rutgers University

The Story:
Rutgers University Dance Marathon reached the $500K raised mark for the first time in its 15-year history.

Hurricane provides entertainment, technology and media support for the largest student-run philanthropy in the state. Monies raised are donated to the Embrace Kids Foundation located in New Brunswick, NJ. Embrace Kids supports the non-medical needs for families that have children with cancer and blood disorders.

The 30-plus hour non-stop marathon will make a big move to the home of Rutgers basketball at Rutgers Athletic Center in 2014.

Hurricane enters its sixth year with Dance Marathon.

15 Reasons Why Dance Marathon is Awesome
Video highlights from Club Dance Marathon
Julia Crimi interviews with Magic 98.3 at Dance Marathon

2. Alyssa and Ryan's Wedding


When: November 9, 2013
Where: Preakness Hills Country Club - Wayne, NJ

The Story:
Hurricane Productions is all about building and maintaining relationships. The top wedding spot of the year belongs to Alyssa and Ryan. The couple met at Rutgers but more importantly, Ryan popped the question on stage at Rutgers Dance Marathon 2011.

The bond that the couple shares with Hurricane Productions is second to none. But it doesn't end there - Although Alyssa and Ryan booked Hurricane Productions for entertainment almost a year in advance, the photography and videography company chosen by the couple closed shop just a few weeks before the wedding.

But thanks to the strong staff and management at Hurricane, Alyssa and Ryan had their entire wedding documented by Hurricane's talented media team.

#avrwedding at Instagram
Read reviews from brides and grooms on Wedding Wire

1. AARA (Asian American Retailers Association) Trade Show

When: September 9, 2013
Where: New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center - Edison, NJ

The Story:
Hurricane's top live event of 2013 belongs to the AARA Trade Show. The annual convention contacted Hurricane earlier in 2013 to help bring the show to a new level. The Board of Directors plan to move from the NJ Convention and Exposition Center to the Garden State Convention Center for its tenth anniversary in 2014. And they're bringing Hurricane Productions with them.

Few companies can provide corporate events with a full-service branding experience as well as management, production and entertainment.

But Hurricane Productions brings 10 years of event expertise to corporate seminars, conferences, trade shows and galas.

The AARA Trade Show showcased a full-service corporate event experience.

AARA: The complete portfolio

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