Every awards show bring with it a slew of parties, gifting lounges, and events, but how do you know which ones to attend? We talked to one of the most exclusive event planners in Hollywood, Gavin Keilly, of GBK Productions about how he selects the top brands and attracts the biggest celebrity names to his events!
Having just attended the most recent GBK lounge honoring the nominees for this weekend’s Emmy awards, I knew all too well how fabulous a GBK lounge can be!
Some of my favorites included brands like The Artisan Group who have been a staple of this lounge year after year and consistently surprise the PPLA staff with VIP treatment with a bag of goodies from local artisans making soaps, accessories and more. New to the lounge, 7 Charming Sisters, caught my eye with their mission of providing fabulous jewelry for a variety of personality types, including the seven friends who founded the company! Lounge sponsor and returning favorite, Pilot Pens, offered celebrities the opportunity to experience the Pilot G2, the no. 1 selling pen in America that is also being highlighted through the ongoing G2 Overachievers Grant initiative. The $50,000 grant will reward overachievers for the incredible things they do to improve others’ lives every day. And these are only a few of the amazing items at any one of the GBK events. Our favorite thing, of course, is the company’s mission to give back. We spoke to Gavin about how he first got started and what’s next…
PPLA: How did you first become an event planner?
GK: I started producing charity events, which we still do today at GBK. It is very rewarding to raise millions of dollars for a variety of great causes!
PPLA: What attracted you to this career? Everyone loves a good party but most people don’t even think about this as a career choice.
GK: I wanted to make a difference in the world and help others in the process.
PPLA: How do you pick the items for the gift lounges with so many great brands to choose from?
GK: The first criteria is what we think the celebrities will like the product. Second, we look for unique products which they will be excited about receiving and wanting to promote.
PPLA: What have been some of the favorite gifts with celebrities over the years?
GK: There are so many….but here are a few!
1) PILOT PEN: As they give out their high end writing tools. In addition to that, they donate $5,000 to the celebrity’s charity of choice who activates the most social media followers. I love when companies think outside the box and incorporate charity in the process.
2) THE COUNTRY of FIJI. They gifted airfare and a choice of amazing Five Star Resorts.
3) Other Trips, which have included many St. Regis Resorts, Little Nell in Aspen, Six Senses Spa, and at our current Pre –Emmy Lounge Belmond Resort in St. Martin.
4) Tempur-Pedic Mattresses are always fun, as the celebs enjoyed jumping on them!
5) I could go on… but I will end it with Hover Boards, and the Segway’s at the last event. The attendees LOVED them.
PPLA: Your lounges are known for their amazing signature GBK cakes. Which one has been your favorite?
GK: I really liked the last cake where the Bread Basket in Camarillo incorporated PILOT Pens and their logo.
PPLA: Are you involved in the design for these? Yes, I am involved in every element of the lounge. If it’s going to be on display, I have to give approval 😉
PPLA: Your lounges have been at numerous locations but most recently at the W Hollywood. Will this be your home?
GK: Our present event is at L’Ermitage in Beverly Hills.. We like to always be at an upscale hotel that is convenient and safe for the celebrities to attend..
PPLA: How do the lounges vary based on the awards show and the nominees you are honoring?
GK: Honestly, just the attendees.. We always strive to have the best products as well as a fun, comfortable atmosphere.
PPLA: Who are some of the biggest celebs that have attend your lounges?
GK: How many do you want me to list! Jaime Foxx, Helen Mirren, Leonardo DiCaprio, Forrest Whitaker, Neil Patrick Harris, Jane Lynch, Melissa McCarthy, the entire cast of “Modern Family,” and so many others.
PPLA: If you could pick one gift from any lounge you’ve thrown for yourself, which would it be and why?
GK: ALL OF THEM. Why Not? I can…
PPLA: Anything else you want our fans to know about you or GBK?
GK: GBK is not just a company gifting celebrities. We also gift numerous causes throughout the year. Each year we help donate over $500,000 per year to over 20 causes. Finally we produce events for 8-10 causes per year, and help raise over $15 Million per year through our efforts and the many kind donors involved.