High tech meets delicious at the Ice-Cream Lab’s four locations in Southern California. The shops deliver a first-of-its-kind take on America’s frozen confection: made-to-order scoops of ice cream frozen on the spot with liquid nitrogen. You watch as the server/lab tech pours the ice cream base— there’s also a vegan alternative—into a blue mixer, adds mix-ins like pretzels, chocolate malt balls, diced bananas, cardamom-spiced walnuts, Oreo crumbles, graham crackers or homemade apple pie filing, and blasts it with 320-degree liquid nitrogen. Thirty seconds later, you’re served freshly made, preservative-free ice cream.

A portable version of the Ice-Cream Lab is available for private events of any size. All you need to provide is a power outlet and space for a 6-foot-long table. Clients range from local schools and nonprofits like the Susan G. Komen Foundation to large corporate clients such as YouTube, Google and Pandora. The Ice-Cream Lab can create unique flavors with special ingredients, themed variations or colors to match a corporate logo. If the ice cream is going to be consumed by adults, it can even be spiked with alcohol. How about making the Margarita Special—ice cream infused with agave-based tequila, and lemon and lime zest on top, served in a margarita glass complete with a salted rim. 

Over the years, any corporate event planner can admit to spending countless hours researching the perfect venue or vendors for their gatherings. After attending or hosting hundreds of events, New York-based Daphne Hoppenot was no stranger to this research and was frustrated by its repetitive nature. However, it was planning her wedding in 2018 that pushed her to realize the lack of resources in the corporate events market compared to the wedding industry, and set out to see if other meetings and events professionals were struggling with the same problem.  

 

Freelancing has become a new ball game since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, as many companies cannot afford to keep full-time positions, but still need those tasks completed. Although many more professionals have had to join the freelancing community since March, Tracy Judge had the passion for the freelancing community two years ago–long before the pandemic hit–and founded her company Soundings Connect in order to directly connect meetings and events industry freelancers with customers. 

 

Perhaps your attendees have hopped on those electric bikes and e-scooters that are scattered all over metropolitan areas throughout California. That’s old news, no question. Yet it’s a sure bet they’ve never been on a Vintage Electric Cruz Bike, because only 250 of them ever have been made. Mad Dogs & Englishmen Bike Shop in Carmel has a fleet of these smile generators, as well as a fleet of knowledgeable guides to lead scenic group tours.