SESMA – Special Event Sites Marketing Alliances

Become a Featured Member!

October 31, 2017sesmadminNews0

featured-member01Share your latest news with the SESMA Community

SESMA is pleased to offer a new benefit for members! Each month, the eNews will include a Member Spotlight article.

This space is designed to provide members with an opportunity to share exciting news with the SESMA community. This could be the launch of a new event space, product, service, industry award or technology!

Submissions will be accepted on a rolling basis and should include a photo and up to 300 words describing your new feature. Please note that submissions will be edited for space and consistency.

To submit, send a .jpg or .png photo with your article to

SESMA Member Spotlight: EventEQ

July 26, 2017sesmadminNews0

EventEQ logo




SESMA Member Spotlight Article

EventEQ Open House
You are invited to experience the difference in event production.

Enable the emotional power of a presentation by using classic techniques within new technology. On August 17, from 4 – 7pm we will stage the latest event technology and equipment in true scenic scenarios for you to experience. Products will include unique lighting, audio and video solutions as well as LED high-resolution video walls and media servers. In addition, our scenic and print departments will show you how to turn an event environment into an interactive space, fit for even the most tech-savvy clients.

As an added benefit, our open house will also play host to some educational breakout sessions, presented by industry experts. Classes include:

4:00 PM
AV for Event Planners: Equip yourself with resources that will simplify audiovisual requests.

4:30 PM
Innovative Audience Engagement: From smartphones to virtual reality, explore unique ways to create an immersive environment for your audience.

5:00 PM
Scenic Design & Grand-Scale Printing: Learn how to get the most presentation, with the newest print methods and materials, on a budget.

5:30 PM
Media Servers 101: Fundamentals of media servers and how they can benefit a content heavy event.

Join us on August 17 from 4 – 7pm! Live music, cocktails and vintage inspired eats and sweets will be served, so that you can network amongst the finest.

RSVP by visiting or email

SESMA Member Spotlight: Bialek’s Music

July 26, 2017sesmadminNews0

39th Anniversary

The first time I was fired was by Washington Talent Agency, January 10th, 1975. The second time was July 10th, 1978 by Barry Rick Associates. Thirty nine years and over sixty thousand events booked later, I can say, “Happy 39th Birthday, Bialek’s Music”, and to the bosses that fired me, “May they rest in peace, BIG MISTAKE.”

It all started the next day, July 11th, 1978 at the tender age of 24, as I was equipped with a two-line phone, a one thousand dollar state of the art video cassette player, audio cassettes, a few band pictures (DJ’s weren’t invented yet!), a ping pong table for a desk, and tons of office supplies as my daddy was in the business. Fax machines, computers and the internet were years away. I was still playing drums in the band, Confection, so I wasn’t going to starve.

I need to thank my family, co-workers (even the ones that quit or I let go), and all of my industry associates, for being there for me all these years. I have made lasting friendships with musicians, catering managers, photographers, florists, DJ’s, videographers, and event planners. They have voted Bialek’s Music the most popular agency in the area, in Washingtonian Magazine, for twenty years in a row and I am forever grateful.

Our company awards include: Affiliate of the year from NACE, and the Presidential and Lifetime Achievements award from the International Special Events Society. I am now a proud Sesma Board Member working on membership. I have seen our industry grow into a powerhouse in the DC/Baltimore area, and I look forward to the next thirty nine years :) (or maybe ten, plus the other twenty-nine sitting on a beach eating bon-bons!)

I may have lost my hair, some eyesight, some hearing, and my youth, but the friends & experience are priceless.

To sum it all up; I did it my way and I believe it worked!

Here are the current staff members of Bialek’s Music and why they just love it here. Thank you so much Washington area and cheers to you!

A Message from the President: April

April 20, 2017sesmadminNews0

Dear SESMA Members,

Our March was a busy one! We had Elliott Ferguson from Destination DC come and speak at the brand new AJAX event space. Elliott was eloquent, informative and inspirational… just as we knew he would be. It turned into a standing room only event as the number of guests soared last minute. It was a huge success and we thank the whole Destination DC team for everything they did for us.

At the breakfast we had a dream team of participants – Well Dunn Catering with a delicious breakfast, Pike Productions with AV and lighting, Philippa Tarrant with floral, Party Rental with all equipment and AJAX with a perfect space to host. Thank you so much for everything, all of you were flawless and fabulous!

The next event we will be hosting is coming up on May 3rd at Dock 5! Seats are limited and members will have exclusive access to registration until April 26th! We hope to see you there.

Best wishes,

Suzi Molak

Long View Gallery
Special Event Sites Marketing Alliance


SESMA Member Spotlight: The Winery at Bull Run

March 1, 2017sesmadminNews0

The Winery at Bull Run invites its guests to a unique event experience nestled in the Virginia countryside. Located on 225 acres of scenic rolling hills and vineyards with breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, our winery creates the perfect backdrop for intimate or large-scale events. 

Within two miles of Interstate 66, we are the closest winery to Washington, D.C. and directly adjacent to the historic Manassas National Battlefield Park. Our rich history and rustic charm coupled with award-winning wines make any event an unforgettable experience. Our friendly and professional staff are dedicated to making every event hosted at The Winery at Bull Run run smoothly from start to finish. 

The Winery at Bull Run offers three unique event spaces. For those who prefer an outdoor space, the Hillwood Ruins feature picturesque views of the Norton vineyard situated on our expansive lawn. The area around Hillwood can accommodate any size party, making this historic location a favorite for wedding ceremonies. The Barrel Room, our rustic indoor space, can accommodate up to 125 guests for all types of occasions. Complete with bulb lights, wine barrels, tanks, hardwood floors, two TVs, and Wi-Fi, it’s a perfect choice for an intimate gathering. The Tasting Room, the most popular choice for large-scale events and weddings, is outfitted with copper bars, a fireplace lounge, authentic 1800’s-era hand-hewn beams, and spacious covered patios and can accommodate up to 200 seated guests. 

We look forward to helping you plan an amazing event your guests will never forget. Contact to book your next event!

Ask the Wedding Experts!

November 28, 2016sesmadminNews0

Ask the Wedding Experts is a luncheon panel with 4 top wedding planners from our region, who come from a variety of backgrounds and clientele. This is your chance to ask them the questions you’ve always wanted answered.

Panelists Include:

Trish Simitakos

Event Designer & Planner

Trish Star Events

Based in Arlington, Virginia, Trish focuses on wedding and social clients in the Mid Atlantic region. Beginning her hospitality career in 1996, first in New York, working with American Express in the Centurion Division, and later with InterContinental Hotels Group, she honed her skills by working with clients in Miami and West Palm Beach, before launching Trish Star Events in Washington, D.C. Notable events include the traditional grand array on every planners roster – celebrity weddings, dinner parties for heads of state, and international fetes. When asked, however, her favorite event is still the two person candle lit dinner on an empty rooftop, where the client nervously proposed to his love during a rainstorm. Sharing that moment with the couple was worth every soggy minute. She believes that her role is to set the stage that allows the actors to do their part, and has created a brand that specializes in offering  clients full service experiential planning services.

Allison Golt

Cherry Blossom Events

Alison has always had a passion for events. She started her career in catering on the Eastern Shore of MD for over 7 years. During college, she had her hand in planning over 3,000 events for the student body, including large scale concerts and shows. She then moved to DC to work for the National Museum of Women in the Arts as the wedding specialist and event coordinator for almost 4 years. In this role, she worked directly with over 500 couples in assisting them with envisioning their weddings at the Museum. Alison joined the Cherry Blossom Team in 2015 and just finished a successful first year.

Charlotte Jarrett

Charlotte Jarrett Events


Danielle Couick, CPCE

Principal | designer & planner

Magnolia Bluebird design & events

Like the stories of her clients, and the events she designs for them, Danielle’s narrative lays much of the foundation for her approach to entertaining, her style and the way she delivers her client experience. A native North Carolinian and Washington, D.C. transplant, Danielle is no stranger to great hospitality and celebrations with soul. She believes in creating environments that are not only beautiful or interesting but also intentional. Inspiring and engaging.

By infusing her events with these subtle (and not so subtle) touches, she elevates the event experience from the expected to the extraordinary. It is her grace, humor, eye for detail and passion for people that makes Danielle one of the most revered planners in the country. It is her ability to engage her clients and vendor partners on a personal level to create a collaborative team rather than individual parts that her events are seamlessly created and flawlessly executed. It is not by coincidence that her clients become friends and part of the Magnolia Bluebird family.

Danielle is a nationally acclaimed award winner for her impeccable event design and production and is often tapped to share her insights through editorial and educational contribution in the global market. Danielle has been named one of the Best Wedding Planners and Designers of 2015 by ModWedding and was recognized by international publication, Special Events Magazine as a “’30 Under 40′ Event Professional Worth Watching.” Her work and insights have been featured in local and national press and publication outlets such as CNN, Washingtonian Bride and Groom, BizBash, Glamour, Home and Design Magazine and more. Her most personally prized feature was when her own wedding was selected as the wedding to represent Washington, D.C. by The Knot National in their 50 States/50 Weddings feature in 2016.

SESMA's mission is to develop cooperative marketing programs that bring member special event sites to the attention of meeting and event professionals throughout the DC-metro area who seek unique venues for their functions.
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