all photography by Michael Durand except where noted / copyright 2012 / durand productions / all rights reserved / use by permission only
Michael Durand started out in the event planning business in San Francisco
as a temp in 1978. Almost thirty-five years later
Michael Durand can look back on an exciting, rewarding and
highly successful career as a producer, project manager
and team leader for hundreds of high-profile events.
Michael still loves project and event management and is currently
a freelance planner, consultant and an extra hand for other planners.
Call 415-706-6428 for help with creating, planning and operating:
Special Events and Celebrations
Incentive Travel Programs
Gatherings of Any Kind and Size
or email: email@example.com
PARTIAL CLIENT LIST
ICS (Incentives, Conventions and Seminars)
The Concept Group
Triad Systems Corporation
National Advanced Systems
Grubb & Ellis
Financial Network Investment Corporation
Catholic Healthcare West
Governor's Conference on Tourism
Steak and Ale and Bennigans Restaurants
United Nations 50th Anniversary
Venture Law Group
Silicon Valley Bank
Governor's Conference on Women
Michael Durand, Miami, November, 2005.
background of event planning and production experience
1978 - 1980
"ICS Years" Michael's first job in San Francisco was with ICS: Incentives, Conventions and Seminars. Mail room, registration, on-site support. Major clients included IBM, Avon and Shaklee, working with most of the people who later became "Incentive Dimensions", a legendary San Francisco event production company.
1980 - 1987
"The Shaklee Years." Amazing events. hundreds of them. Shaklee Travel Planning. Michael worked in "registration", processing detailed information for each conference attendee. On site support at conventions.
1988 - 1990
"The Concept Group Years" Incredible 18 months as a project manager/meeting planner with groups to: Honolulu; Maui; Carmel Valley Ranch; Ritz-Carlton, Naples; St. Croix; Santa Clara, California; Innisbrook, Florida; San Francisco, twice; Maui, again; La Costa and Kauai. Oh, and don't forget to add in the 1989 earthquake in San Francisco. Michael has lots of stories to tell from those years...
1991 - 1994
"The Rosenbluth Years" Michael was promoted from Meeting Planner to Senior Meeting Planner to the Supervisor of the Meeting Planning Department. He helped the San Francisco office of Rosenbluth International Travel's Meeting and Incentive Division grow from six employees to 22. Michael was an important part of the team that won the 2,700 person Chevron convention and was the Program Manager for the 2,700-person convention. The greatest success was having Chevron sign up again to have us handle the program for the following year.
Another great show was the February, 1993 program with Steak & Ale and Bennigans restaurants in Cancun, Mexico. The hotel was too small for 1,100 people, so we divided participants into four groups, then staggered arrivals, and repeated each event for each new group, day after day. Michael was part of the team working on-site for 17 days. There are a lot of great stories from "The Rosenbluth Years."
1995 - 2007
"The durand productions Years" Dozens of major conferences, hundreds of television shows, thousands and thousands of photographs, amazing travels and adventures, very cool people, pianos in fancy hotels, See experience for details.
2007 - 2011
Senior Meeting Planner, Kaiser Permanente
Now accepting new projects. firstname.lastname@example.org
Puerto Vallarta Mexico - Michael Durand assisted
Creative Planning of Los Altos with the Siemen's President's Circle of Excellence at the
Four Seasons Punta Mita Resort near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. May, 2006.
Here is a partial list of a Meeting Planner's scope of responsibility:
- Create and maintain a detailed timeline and budget
- Conduct comprehensive research for event site selection
- Plan and direct site inspections
- Negotiate hotel/venue and vendor contracts
- Contribute theme ideas
- Coordinate artwork and production of program related materials
- Create and maintain the invitation and registration database
- Design and produce attendee registration forms/websites
- Direct participant invitation mailing
- Coordinate all travel arrangements
- Plan meeting/event locations
theme, set-up, decorations, a/v, lighting, etc.
- Oversee all audio/visual productions and presentations
- Manage all technology, communications and engineering needs
- Plan menu selections
- Create and maintain a comprehensive program agenda
listing details of every event and the responsibilities of the on-site staff
- Manage On-site Staff
- Review, revise and approve the hotel's Banquet Event Orders
- Schedule and supervise on-site staff
- Produce a detailed hotel rooming list
- Research, interview, hire and supervise local destination management companies and vendors
- Arrange for all theme parties and off-site activities
- Create signs/banners, printed materials
- Research, purchase and coordinate room gifts
- Produce name badges
- Research, review and recommend bands, speakers and entertainment
- Manage food and beverage guarantees
- Set up and lead the pre-convention meeting
- Oversee all on-site activities
- Manage all changes before and throughout the program
- Handle all emergencies
- Arrange and distribute gratuities and thank you notes
- Coordinate and review all accounting, billing, invoicing, payments and reconciliation
Each project is different, and every detail of
each event receives our personalized, experienced attention.
Call durand productions at 415-706-6428
for more information about event planning and production.
Michael Durand on a cruise to see spinner dolphin off
the coast of Moorea, near Tahiti, 2003
by Michael Durand
Here, in no particular order, are my favorite career highlights so far:
Event Producer for Catholic Healthcare West's largest annual Seminar for 15 consecutive years.
Averaging 700 participants each, Michael was responsible for every detail for a total of over
10,000 participants and guests
Attendees were all high-level VIPs (Presidents, CEO's., Board Members, etc.) and
service leaders representing over 40 of CHW's west coast hospitals.
CHW is now Dignity Health based in San Francisco.
* * * * *
Project Manager for a 2,700 person Chevron convention at the Swan and Dolphin hotels at
Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
* * * * *
Four years as Senior Meeting Planner and Supervisor of the Meeting Planning department
of the San Francisco Meeting and Incentive division of Rosenbluth International.
* * * * *
Project Manager for St. Anthony Foundation's year-long celebration of their fiftieth anniversary
of feeding the hungry and caring for the homeless in San Francisco,
culminating in a block party in the heart of the city
for over 6,000 people
* * * * *
Four years as Senior Meeting Planner for Kaiser Permanente working with Vice Presidents
and Senior Vice Presidents helping them design, plan and operate
their departments' annual meetings. Specialist in Groundbreakings, Grand Openings
Health Fairs and special events for new medical office buildings and medical centers in
Modesto, Santa Clara, Oakland, San Mateo, San Leandro, Santa Rosa, Vacaville, Roseville and more...
Pioneer in WebEx online meetings and webinars. Served as moderator for sales broker update meetings.
Started internship program. Hired and trained first intern. "Voice of God" at large events.
* * * * *
Project Manager for the annual convention for
Financial Network Investment Corporation (FNIC)
handling groups growing in size each year in the early '90's
from 800 to 1,100 to 1,300 to 1,700 participants.
* * * * *
Two 350-person incentive programs for Triad Systems
to the Maui Marriott and the Westin Kauai, Hawaii
* * * * *
A series of ever-improving career highlights comes from durand productions'
long time support for Creative Planning with incentive travel programs to
some amazing destinations, including:
Four Seasons Punta Mita, Mexico (x 2) / Four Seasons Hualalai, Island of Hawaii /
Corfu, Greece / Hilton Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando, Florida (x 4) /
Sicily, Italy / Marrakech, Morrocco / Kapalua Bay Hotel, Maui /
Caribbean cruise on Windsurf: Barbados, Bequia, Iles de Saintes, St. Lucia and Mayreau /
Dubrovnik and Rabb Island, Croatia /
Grand Wailea Resort, Maui (3x) / Ritz Carlton, San Juan, Puerto Rico /
Westin Regina, Los Cabos, Mexico /
The Lodge at Pebble Beach and the Inn at Spanish Bay /
Venice, Italy / A Windstar cruise around the islands of
Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea (photo below), Huihine and Raetea
and much more.
* * * * *
Producer of the Los Angeles Concierge Association event featuring the best of Pasadena by offering
VIP treatment to the group of travel professionals. Highlights included free docent-led
tours of the Huntington Library, the Gamble House, the Norton Simon museum and
walking on the field of the world-famous Rose Bowl with LACA on the scoreboard.
* * * * *
Michael Durand in Miami. November, 2005.
Even after 27 years of handling large corporate events - still no grey hair.
"If you love what you do, it isn't work."
(OK, it's 2012 now and the beard is getting a little frosty.
Still loving the business, though!)
Michael Durand - background of planning experience
1979: "ICS Years" Michael's first job in San Francisco was with ICS: Incentives, Conventions and Seminars. Mail room, registration, on-site support. Major clients included IBM, Avon and Shaklee, working with most of the people who later became "Incentive Dimensions."
1980 - 1987 "The Shaklee Years." Amazing events, hundreds of them. Shaklee Travel Planning. Michael worked in "registration" processing detailed information for each conference attendee. On site support at dozens of conventions.
1988 - 90 "The Concept Group Years" Incredible 18 months as a project manager/meeting planner with groups to: Honolulu; Maui; Carmel Valley Ranch; Ritz-Carlton, Naples; St. Croix; Santa Clara, California; Innisbrook, Florida; San Francisco, twice; Maui, again; La Costa and Kauai. Oh, and don't forget to add in the 1989 earthquake in San Francisco ...
1991 - 1994 "The Rosenbluth Years" From Meeting Planner to Senior Meeting Planner to the Supervisor of the Meeting Planning Department, Michael Durand helped the San Francisco office of Rosenbluth Travel's Meeting and Incentive Division grow from six employees to 22. Michael was an important part of the team that won the 2,700 person Chevron convention and was the Program Manager for the huge meeting. The greatest success was having Chevron sign up again to have us handle the program for the following year.
Another great show was the February '93 program with Steak and Ale and Bennigans restaurants in Cancun, Mexico. The hotel was too small for 1,100 people, so we divided participants into four groups, then staggered arrivals, and repeated each event for each new group. There are a lot of stories from "The Rosenbluth Years."
1995 - 2007 "durand productions" See experience for details.
2007 - 2011 Senior Meeting Planner, Kaiser Permanente
2012 - Now accepting new projects. email@example.com
MEETING PLANNER'S STORIES
by Michael Durand
It was the biggest project of my career, so far: a sales meeting for 750 people from 21 countries around the world.
It was the fall of 1989 and Hitachi was formally announcing the purchase
of National Advanced Systems. This was my first use of e-mail. I still marvel at the
ability to communicate around the world in an instant. I sent out registration forms to Latin America,
Asia/Pacific, Europe and throughout the U.S. and started handling registrations in minutes.
The project took months of planning. Down the final few days, we were right
at the deadline to get the international airline tickets out to the participants. The tickets
were issued, bundled and ready for the FedEx agent (Federal Express, back then).
It was 5:04 pm, as the FedEx agent was in our office scanning the bar codes of
the packages, on October 17, 1989 when the Loma Prieta earthquake
rocked San Francisco and the Bay Area.
Book shelves were knocked over, pencil cups went flying, people scattered into doorways,
lights went out, computers shut down - it was a huge shake.
We helped the FedEx agent carry the packages down the nine flights
of stairs, which were covered in plaster dust from the cracked walls of the stairwell.
The earthquake closed San Francisco airport for a day, but the tickets
got out the next day and the participants received them the day before they left for the program.
Our building was red tagged for a day, meaning we couldn't enter even for a minute.
I was playing golf on what should have been the busiest day of to project.
We were able to enter the building (on Market at Geary - in the heart of San Francisco)
grab our files, then head to the airport to fly to Florida for the event.
Hitachi Data Systems was so happy with how the program went
at the Innisbrook Resort that the client wanted to double all the gratuities.
California governor Pete Wilson and I were just about
the only two males among 6,000 females at the Governor's Conference for Women in Long Beach.
I enjoyed sitting in on a television interview with First Lady Betty Ford.
Moving governor Gray Davis out of an ambassador's seat at the United Nation's 50th Anniversary Ceremonies
at the Opera House in San Francisco was a memorable moment. (Sorry, Gray!). I was an escort
and led a group of ambassadors across the stage and down to their soon to be unoccupied seats.
My photo was on page 5 of the New York Times the next day.
I'll never forget being upgraded to first class on a flight home from a 17 day program in Cancun, Mexico.
The flight attendant bumped Evander Holyfield and his very angry wife into coach. (Sorry, sorry, sorry!!!)
For those unfamiliar, Mr. Holyfield was a boxer and was the heavyweight champion of the world.
It was a gorgeous day on a tiny Tahitian island
when, as I was watching and videotaping them,
two boys from Bora Bora climbed a palm tree barefoot. As they neared the top,
the tree collapsed under them into the ocean. They were fine. The tree submerged. The video on Youtube
(As of 2012, "A tree falls in Bora Bora" by durandpro has over 45,000 hits)
Sitting backstage at the Syntex sales meeting at the Peabody in Orlando
on headset getting the signal to cue the band leader and the composer of
the "Love Boat" theme to play the song. At the same program, we hired the cast
of Cirque de Soleil to stage a performance in the ballroom and I was
recruited as a last-minute stage hand.
In November, 2005, I worked with Peter Miller of Creative Planning on a VeriFone group to Miami, just days after power and air conditioning were restored to the Sheraton Bal Harbour. Signs of hurricane Wilma where everywhere - lots of broken tree limbs, ripped awnings, blown down signs, blue-tarped roofs. The hotel also housed electrical workers recruited from around the country brought in to restore power.
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