Cool Tips to Balance Summer Heat


First things first, be sure to set up Fancy Water or Hydration Station(s) for guests to self-serve (keep it eco by skipping plastic bottles or cups) For my own social parties I always have sparkly waters available to grab near where the booze is being served. 

For really hot days I suggest having a Misting Line setup somewhere too so guests can give themselves gentle bird baths in the mist & cool down. 


Starting with the obvious here is plenty of shaded areas. Umbrellas, tents, & shade coverings. 

I have seen thoughtful planners give out cooling Gifts like sunglasses, fans & parasols. We always bring spritzers & fans to any hot Summer bookings & give them to our performers to offer a quick refresh moment to guests. This can go a long way to making guests feel considered & cared for on a hot day. 

A 3 Step Super Formula for EVENT THEMES that Shine

Welcome to the world of extravagant events where every detail sparkles with sophistication and allure. In this exclusive blog, we’ll unveil a 3-step Super Formula for creating event themes that shines.

Prepare to be enchanted as we guide you through the art of choosing captivating themes, adding delightful twists, and activating your vision into a mesmerizing reality with enchanting designs and interactivities. Indulge in the extraordinary as we reveal the secrets to hosting unforgettable gatherings that leave your guests in awe.

Superhero Group


Choose or Create a Theme that most people involved like. You are already quite familiar with this step.  You bat around ideas & perhaps do a little pinterest or blog dive to unearth some less obvious ones. Some people say you should skip a theme entirely. The reason I disagree is that a theme gives you an organizing principle to give cohesion to all the puzzle pieces

If you don’t want a traditional theme like Gatsby or Under the Sea… at least choose an adjective or emotion or color palette… something to design around.

The Client Event I’ll use for Example/illustration was a company party & the theme they chose was Superheroes.

Heroes on Dance floor - Costumed Characters


Yes, I said twist! Why? Because all the good themes have been done before so many times. If you want your event to be less obvious & more unique then the next 2 steps are how you break away from the pack & accomplish this. Some possible twists include making a classic or vintage theme futuristic, or adding a retro twist to a modern theme. You can also choose a color pop or adjective as your twist.

Our Example Event chose a Pop Art twist to their superhero base theme. They were a biotech company so baked into the event was a 2nd inherent twist of Science.

Superhero Group


It is common to lean heavily on the decor to communicate your theme but there are many other tools that can help bring it to life & equally important; make it inviting & engaging to your guests.  Activities, Music & other live Entertainment are highest on this list. Food & Beverage, lighting, signage, video/multi-media, & staff outfits are some other elements that can help. I also highly suggest sending guests a compelling synopsis narrative on their invitation so they all know the theme & feel encouraged to nod or bow to it in their outfit. If it is a hard theme to dress for, consider having wearable gifts or face painters to get guests into the spirit of it.

Experiential marketing companies or creative entertainment production companies are often ideal partners in helping the theme come to life through activations & live elements. If you don’t have the budget for fancy designers & entertainment then bring in some young people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives (perhaps from a local arts high school or college) & ask them for their fun ideas & then bribe them to help realize the best ones. 

Our Example Event brought in us (Catalyst Arts) to animate the theme & create multiple interactive media activations so that there was plenty of things to keep guests involved & amused throughout the party. We had superheroes greeting, posing & warming up the dancefloor. We created a black panther zone with live actors, a super science themed media installation with on-theme props, live actors & gif hostess, & a virtual reality superhero training zone. They also brought in digital caricature artists & an augmented reality climbing wall.

Focuse side image of ring light
VR Zone
Lite Brite Close Up - Woman putting back the product on the shelf

If you care to see the Short Sizzle VIDEOS of this Super Event, you can click the links below. (only 30 secs each)

Experience-Based Events are on the Rise

Wondering how experienced-based event companies are innovating in every aspect of an event? Keep on reading to stay updated on the trends and be inspired for your next event But what has changed in this industry so much that it keeps grabbing people’s attention? Well, it is simply because of our advancing technology.

Experiential events are elevating like never before. They are bringing more people together & exceeding guests’ expectations. These are buzz-generating happenings, people love talking about them with their friends & family, posting about them on their social media, & creating similar events themselves. But what has changed in this industry so much that it keeps grabbing people’s attention? Well, it is simply because of our advancing technology. 

Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality 

Virtual reality has been around since the 80s, but it is only now that we see more people using them for their own entertainment & even more in experiential events. Our advanced technology has allowed companies to use VRs to bring people together,  allow their guests to experience, see, & do things they never have before, & win prizes in escapade competitions. The company Perrier hosted a digital scavenger hunt to promote the Perrier x  Murakami collection. Perrier is a sparkling water company that originated in France 150 years ago. Murakami is a global corporation for manufacturing rear-view mirrors & cameras for automobiles that were born in Japan 135 years ago. Making this collaboration a unique experience for its guests. The scavenger hunt allowed fans to customize their avatar & be in extraordinary worlds to look for the company’s merchandise collection drop in a certain amount of time. Whatever the fans found during the scavenger hunt they were able to keep. Fans won T-shirts, hoodies, tote bags, & more. The scavenger hunt not only helped the companies promote their collection, but also promoted it in a very interactive & enjoyable experience for their fans. 

Experiential event companies also use virtual reality to design media zones for many themed events. One of the companies is Catalyst Arts, a woman-owned experiential entertainment company that is based in San Francisco. Catalyst Arts did a virtual reality zone as a part of a superhero-themed event for a biotech company. These zones had different expertise levels to ensure that no guest felt left out from participating in this exciting virtual reality experience. The VR zone could either be used for an individual guest or as a multiplayer experience, allowing guests to interact however they were most comfortable. Not only did Catalyst Arts design multiple virtual reality zones but they also created interactive installations for the guest to make the experience more authentic. For one of their events, Catalyst Arts installed a scientific-themed set with a moving media attendant.  


Not only experiential event companies are designing different ways their guests can interact with each other & the hosting companies, but individual artists are also raising the bar as well. An artist in France named Anna Zhilyaeva designed an augmented-reality painting for her Youtube channel. She accomplished this by combining mixed-reality footage using a virtual reality software called Tilt Brush, similar to real painting on a canvas allowing her to create masterpieces in the air in any kind of creative or simple locations whether it be in her living room floor or the middle of a lake. She intended to make an effect to make the painting appear alive in AR. Tilt Brush is a 3D VR painting app where the user would need a VR headset & a touch controller to use a variety of brushes, effects, & tools to create 3D illusions. Viewers can see the finished piece in an online gallery, allowing viewers to see the painting in 3D. However, Anna is not stopping here, she is exploring experimentation with animation to take art & creativity to the next level. Not only artists like Anna can use this app, but experiential events can also use it to help them explore their creativity in a foreign way & allow their guests to interact with each other to create art masterpieces.

Art Installations & Media Installations

Art installations have existed since the late 50s. However, 2023 is taking it to the next level, including media installations. Art installations have mostly had deep meaning tied to them or are intended to symbolize a value, an emotion, an expression, etc. Even though these are still important & seen, they have become more interactive with guests at events. Whether they are a walkthrough, a projector, sculptures, etc. our technology has made it possible for these art installations to connect with the guest, host, or company. Reddit, an online social discussion platform company did a collaborative event with The Communi-tea Bar to install a crystal ball that generates honest conversations that are happening in Reddit to practically “spill the tea” on what is going on in the guest’s communities. The company’s motive for doing this was to help the guests to deepen their existing relationships & to make this event an easier way to network. 

Creativity in art has evolved tremendously to the point where people don’t need to travel to a different country to see their favorite artists’ art pieces. Instead, people are able to view them through media installations that are being installed in local residential areas. This is not only being seen in the United States, but internationally as well. In the city of Mexico, Frida Kahlo’s art pieces were projected in three different spaces. The induction space, main hall, & interactive space. The induction space is a small room where guests first visit the exhibition to give them the background of what they will experience in the main hall. The main hall is where all of Frida’s paintings are projected surrounding the viewers with music & a sitting area. The interactive space is filled with games & sets where the guests can take pictures. This created a multi-sensory experience for visitors by turning her art pieces into a monumental scale, adding music, sculptures, & interactive & digital animation to bring her paintings to life & allow visitors to create deeper connections than ever seen before. Frida is not the only artist with an immersive exhibition, Van Gogh has an immersive exhibition as well that is located in various countries such as France, Japan, the U.S., & more. Van Gogh’s exhibition has very similar components to Frida’s exhibition but only lacks an interactive space. However, Van Gogh’s exhibition has a space that tells the story of Van Gogh’s life allowing his admirers to gain more knowledge of who he was as a person. His admirers were able to connect & understand his artworks on a more meaningful level. These exhibitions are uniquely made for the artist’s admirers so that they can connect, understand, & feel their artworks similarly to how the artists felt when creating their art pieces.  

Not only art pieces are being evolved, but also sculptures. Sculptures used to be created about important & wealthy individuals conveying motion, verism, social status, etc. But now they are created to promote companies, bring more life to events, allow people to interact with them, & of course, have technology embedded in them. Marathon Oil, a production company, installed an LED sculpture in its headquarters lobby. This sculpture blends art & motion to respond to the visitors & workers’ movements. However, not only does this sculpture present beautiful art blended with motion, but it also allows people to interact with it. People can learn more about Marathon Oil’s history, learn about the staff in the company, & the statue allows people to see the impactful changes the company has done in the community.

The photo booth was first invented in the 20s called the “Photomaton” & it functioned fairly the same as how one would today, however, the process of printing out the photos took 10 minutes which now only takes 5 seconds. But, the evolution does not end there. Today, people can use a big space & incorporate props, include live actors in their photos, & have an extravagant background. Catalyst Arts have used this dynamic photo booth in some of its events making the guests’ experience more memorable & more interactive with each other. They created a science lab scene with backdrops & props for the guests to use to depict them as wild scientists who are making mind-blowing discoveries within the space of a photo booth. Catalyst Arts added live actors to enhance the realism & interactions of the photo booth. They also incorporated the ring light iPad into the booth to capture photos & gifs. Each theme that Catalyst Arts creates is customed for the client & the company.   

Elevated Food & Beverage Experiences

Food has brought people together for centuries, it is where people put their differences aside & come together to be in the moment. Art & science has always been seen can be seen in food & drinks created by an expert chef, but now experiential businesses are taking food experiences to another level. Victoria Taylor is an experiential designer for hospitality, luxury, & entertainment brands, specifically in the UK. Recently, she created an ocean dining room theme where the floor was a screen presenting the ocean waves, & the space around the dining table was shaped as the coral reef to have the guests fantasize that they’re dining in the ocean. These designs made the space peaceful, elegant, & extraordinarily beautiful giving the guests an immersive experience. Creating these magnificent immersive experiences makes them memorable & impactful experiences for the guests.

Expert chefs keep innovating different styles of food, mixing exotic foods, & are now mixing science into their foods. The new trend in restaurants is dry ice desserts, this is most frequently used in ice cream. This technique may sound complicated, however, it is fairly simple & amusing. All you need to do is to add dry ice to the dessert recipe, yes

it’s that simple & it makes your desserts look exotic. A restaurant in Prague, named Sangam Indian Restaurant, came up with a new dessert recipe with dry ice. It is a mango, pistachio, & rose ice cream topped on dry ice. Doesn’t that sound delicious & make your mouth water? Many guests are going crazy about this dessert emphasizing how this dessert including the food made their visit memorable & cannot recommend this restaurant enough. There’s a pastry shop located in Romania, named La Calub Alb, that serves chocolate globes on dry ice. Guests are saying how this is their favorite dessert since they can taste the fresh ingredients & get a show when they serve the dry ice. When restaurants serve dry ice desserts they are having their guests use all of their five senses to make their experience memorable, exciting, & delicious. 

Champagne is a drink used for celebrations, but it has not been used extravagantly in the past. However, that is changing. There are champagne trends that have been spiking in the U.S. & Europe. Companies are becoming more creative with champagne resulting in an elevated guest experience. Experiential event companies are incorporating champagne in their performances making it an unforgettable event. An international company, Scarlett Entertainment, performs in the UK, Italy, Dubai, & the U.S. They have many different performances including an aerial champagne chandelier. They hang from a chandelier & perform while pouring champagne to the guests. Another company that innovated champagne is Catalyst Arts. They make skirts out of champagne for their waiters to serve the guests. The champagne skirts make the models look elegant & extravagant at the same time. These champagne dresses bring the event together by elevating the hospitality & making the event one of a kind.

Le petit chef is elevating the food experience to another level. It is a restaurant that has a 6-inch French chef cook in front of the customers through a digital screen on the table. The scenario changes depending on what the chef is doing. For example, if the chef is getting vegetables for the dish the scene will turn into a garden and the customers get to experience see the whole process of how to make the dish right in front of them. Right after the digital experience ends the actual food comes out making the whole experience unforgettable.

From Performer to Producer & the story of 5 Cirque Du Soleil Premiers
I will never forget the 1st time I performed at a cirque du soleil premier. I was in my early 20’s & bright eyed as they come. I was part of a group in SF called Mystic Family Circus & we were tagged by CdS’s unknown little sister company called Cirque du Bakuza to come to Vegas & help with the premier of Ka at MGM Grand.
There was an Art boat & 360 video & a huge stage where someone wailed on an electric guitar singing about the tsunami (too soon after it had happened) The guests were overstimulated disinterested VIP’s. Our dance performance would make me cringe if I saw it today. But overall it was a thoroughly extraordinary experience. Weird, grand, & totally surreal.

The next premier was for Corteo in San Francisco & also with Mystic Family Circus, & involved me walking on stilts with nearly 100 performers all costumed in white in a dream-like funeral procession of a clown.

The 3rd SF premier in 2014 I was tagged by a DJ friend of mine Cyril, who’s known for his electro-swing & it was for Kurios so they wanted steampunk inspired Stilt Walkers. I had an absolute blast making the costumes & performing with Oceana on stilts & ground at this one & I loved this show the most.

Slinky Anectodre- A random intuitive addition to my props was an old school silver slinky. This little metal miracle ended up being the perfect prop on both stilts & ground… connecting me to guests in playful visual way, & even ended up being the enabler for a surprise pop-up round of Limbo that I initiated on the dance floor.

It wasn’t until 2017 that I crossed over from being a performer to my company Catalyst Arts being hired to produce a whole bunch of entertainment for the premier. 



For the US premier of Luzia we brought roving ground characters & festive stilt walkers & acrobats for the after party. We did an off-site activation & dancers in the VIP & the San Jose premier as well. It was a dream come true.

The next year we were asked back for Volta & we had greeters & roller skaters & unicyclists & added some flair in the VIP.

Our Five Core Values + How They Come To Life
Catalyst Arts company values + visualized business values

Are you curious to understand the values that a wild & whimsical
entertainment company lives by?

We believe that a successful company is one that truly embodies the values they have established. Continue reading to learn how we live our core values both internally and externally.


Razzle Dazzle Text



Dazzle is a polished firework that sparkles with an air of refinement. Razzle is a bit wilder, with a playful nature & boldness that adds an element of surprise. Together, they create a vibrant combination that embodies that magical fusion we are all about. 



Every event we host involves elements of wonder & surprise. Our intent is to immerse guests in the wild & playful features we provide. During our recent Hearts of San Francisco Gala & after-party, the featured after-party element were our mirror dancers. They shimmered both literally and figuratively, captivating every guest with their sparkling effects & electrifying dances moves. But instead of just performing for guests, they engaged guests by offering high-fives, taking photos with them, & actively encouraging them to dance, even leading some steps to follow! 

Mirror Dancers guiding guests on the dance steps at a gala after party


Connect Generously Text + two hands reaching for each other



Dazzle is a polished firework that sparkles with an air of refinement. Razzle is a bit wilder, with a playful nature & boldness that adds an element of surprise. Together, they create a vibrant combination that embodies that magical fusion we are all about. 



Connecting with the arts & experiential communities has always been important for us, & even more so during the pandemic. During the lockdown, our founder & CEO, Audette created a facebook group where she offered free business coaching & workshops for performers & other creatives. She also ran a low-cost Experiential Business Mastermind that helped entrepreneurs grow their expertise in experience design & strategic business creativity.

We sponsored multiple events throughout the year, as a way to stay visible & connected to fellow event professionals.  We are also active in a few associations.

Audette is a founding member of WXO (the world experience organization) & the social chair for WIX (women in experience), as well as an active MPI (meeting planners international) member & gala committee lead. These roles have provided her with opportunities to connect with some of the industry’s most exceptional professionals, & keep a finger on the pulse of the latest & best practices in events & experience design. 

We remain committed to finding new ways to connect with our community & continue to foster a culture of collaboration & growth. 





Our industry is fond of classics & can fall into a plug & play it safe mentality that can lead to staleness. We will always offer fresh new twists on the known & sniff at the edges to pull in the novel & cutting-edge & new. We are agents of evolution, novelty, & vibrancy!
Bottom line: We are here to innovate & catalyze elevated experiences. 



Our ability to think outside of the box & create extraordinary experiences has birthed a new form of event tarot. Gone are the days where you wait in long lines, because our form of tarot readings has been taken to the next level. In 2022, we took a new approach to this popular activity and transformed it into a game. This tarot wheel game is called ‘Whats in the Cards for you?’ & invites guests to a short approachable tarot experience that leaves them with an insightful artifact. 

Catalyst Arts original Tarot Wheel- What's in the cards for you Tarot Game experience

When Safeway hired us to add some excitement into their multi-location high end store relaunch. We proposed & created a fresh line of costumed characters influenced by fruit, … the Fresca Hostesses. This group of characters includes watermelon, orange, lemon, kiwis, strawberry, and a tropical mix.

Fresca hostesses- Catalyst Arts fruit & flower inspired costumed performers

We will never let our menu get stale… we will continue to push the boundaries & pioneer new fresh ways to engage people within extraordinary experiences.




At every event, we strive to exceed expectations & go beyond the norm by creativity aiming for the extraordinary. While we do incorporate classic elements, we also add unique twists or upgrade through innovative costuming & cutting-edge technology, coupled with a healthy dose of lightheartedness to create truly mesmerizing moments. Our ultimate goal is to use the power of entertainment & experiences to deliver a fresh & delightful impact on every guest’s experience, both in the moment & for the overall success of the event.



At Catalyst Arts, we are committed to constant elevation in all that we do. We believe in the power of continuous improvement, pushing boundaries, & surpassing expectations. Our dedication to “always elevate” is rooted in our belief that every event we activate should be better than the last, aiming for new heights of excellence.

One example is our use of Extended Reality (XR) technologies. 


Always Elevate Text with an acrobat performing on an elevated hoop on the background


By incorporating cutting-edge XR elements, such as AR & VR, we can transport guests to immersive and extraordinary realms. 

These innovative technologies allow us to redefine what is possible, blurring the lines between the physical and digital worlds.

However, our commitment to “always elevate” extends far beyond the realm of XR. It permeates every aspect of our work, from costume & character  production to talent curation & client collaboration. We constantly seek new ideas, emerging trends, & creative ways to deliver experiences that make a splash.




We believe that business can & should be a force for good & that all companies should find at least one value-aligned cause to contribute to. We believe Art & Beauty contribute immeasurably to culture, but also want to  make a more tangible difference in this world specifically for our planet & her wild creatures. This is why we created the impact initiative “Party Animals.” Its focus is on supporting eco sustainability & animal welfare by leveraging the creativity of the hospitality & events industry to fund the orgs that drive real impact for animals & their habitats. We encourage others within our industry to get involved & join the initiative.



At our company, we believe in making a positive impact on society, & our commitment to animal welfare is at the forefront of our efforts. Party Animals began with a simple pledge to donate a portion of any animal character booking  to our favorite animal welfare orgs. We have given thousands of dollars to solution organizations in the last few years. But that still felt too small, & we want to add a lot more zeros to those numbers, so we are now thinking much bigger. 

This personal pledge has evolved & expanded into a larger initiative that aims to become a global industry-wide movement & use the currencies of celebration to funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars a year into the best animal orgs in the world.

Zebra hostess in LED shot skirt playing games with guests for a Party Animals pop up at an event at California Academy of Sciences.

You are invited to JOIN this movement

Click HERE to read the full origin story in LinkedIn. Click the Image below & get on the invitation list! 
Animated photo of a computer with various animals and a text saying Get wildly creative to make a difference for wildlife on it's screen - photo linked to

PARTY ANIMALS – How a Wild Tribe of Creatures Came to Exist + Do Good


Welcome to the wild world of Party Animals, where a tribe of extraordinary creatures comes to life to bring joy and do good. Join us on an unforgettable journey as we uncover the origins of this enchanting circus-themed event that has captivated audiences worldwide. 

Party Animals and People Partying

I’m on the phone discussing a circus themed event. The client is Netflix.

greeting zebra & giraffe for Rainforest Action Network event.

They want 3 giant (stilt-sized) animals for a parade at their event & are willing to cover the cost of creating such ambitious costumes.

I love the idea & I love a challenge. Fast forward a month & the costumes are finished & awesome. I volunteer to do a ‘ground’ debut of them for a Rainforest Action Network event in Oakland.

I personally wear the Zebra costume (because hello, who doesn’t want to be a zebra?) & my friend wears the Giraffe.

We have a total blast greeting guests as they arrive. (look at those smiles!)

A couple weeks later we do the big Netflix company event & our stilt tiger, zebra, & giraffe are a big hit. They greet guests, dance in a silly parade, & mingle as best a giant party animal can with humans.

This is 2016 & given that we already had other party animal costumed characters, very soon we had a nice little division, which I playfully named Party Animals. (tagline ‘bringing wildlife to your celebration’.)

Being a life-long animal lover myself, who always thought I’d grow up to do some important ‘animal-saving work’… I decide that this division is a perfect opportunity to tie in some charitable giving into my business.

So I do some research/choose 2 organizations to support, & make a donation to one of them every time any of these animal characters are booked for an event.

So thus has Party Animals organically grown over the last 7 years, adding new animals to the menu, & making a splash at parties.

Here is the page about it & below is a mini slideshow to share some of the fun we have had bringing the party animals to life in costumes & events.

Stay Fresh company value


After about 5 years of this small impact initiatives existence, I felt mildly proud, but non-plussed about the amount of $$ contributed. Just one little branch of one small business can only do so much. So I asked myself what it would take to add a zero or two to the number.

The Answer: more humans buying into the idea of leveraging a creative idea in your business to support great causes & helping transform it into a Movement.

To enroll other businesses (especially in the hospitality & events industry) to give $ to causes of their choice & do so creatively)

So now this little impact initiative is seeking to grow into a large Industry-wide global impact initiative.

with your help.


party animals web site- it's a link!



To help get Party Animals to it’s next Level of IMPACT?

If so, here are 3 ways you can say yes:

1) I’m seeking a dozen ‘Founding Zebras’ to help sculpt & launch this project into the world with momentum. This is about volunteering time for some steering meetings. Email Me if you are intrigued or ready to jump in.

2) We are doing our 1st (of many) Party Animal Pop-Up Event on June 18th at Bergerac in San Francisco. Buy tickets to this fantastical Day Party

3) Scan the zebra or go to & add yourself to the E-List so you stay in the loop for future pop-ups & inspiration & invitations.

Elevate Experiential & Events & Entertainment
Give back eco initiatives - PARTY ANIMALS QR CODE

The Wildlife of the Party
Party Animals by Catalyst Arts
Party Animals costumed characters + impact initiative for event industry to contribute to animal causes

Our Party Animals are a great signature offering… they are the Wildlife of the Party & they are also a give-back offering so every time they are booked we make a donation to an Animal Charity that we love!

Body Painted Wild Animals- Zebra, Tiger, & Cheetah

* We make a Donation to an Animal Rights Cause every time a Party Animal gets booked!
World Wildlife Foundation & Mercy for Animals

So you are helping the real animals by bringing these fabulous party animals to your event!

Party Animals by Catalyst Arts - wildlife of the party