New York Magazine’s Taste

This past November 10th, New York Magazine held their annual Taste event at The Waterfront. Something Different Party Rental supplied nearly 12,000 pieces of glassware for Taste. We provided tables, chairs, chafers, sternos, coolers, proofers, induction burners, and sheet pans for the various tasting stations in attendance. With over 40 of New York’s most renowned restaurants and mixology bars catering Taste, organization and process were key to the event’s success.

While SDPR is known for our quality product and resourceful people, continual improvement is central to our philosophy. It is up to Irene Katsaros, our Director of Operations, and Chris Ziglobicki, our Director of Process Improvement and Assistant Director of Operations, to continually refine our warehousing and on-the-road operations processes. The complexity of this event made it clear to Irene and Chris that accuracy and product recovery logistics would be a vital place to reexamine processes. With over 200 pieces of made-to-order Charcoal colored SD Spun linen at the event (not including work cloths, napkins, and garbage pail covers), they identified linen to be a process refinement focal point.

The first refinement in our linen process was created to improve order accuracy through our linen labeling system. In the past, our linen had always been wrapped in plastic, inspected and labelled with a sticker indicating the date and inspectors initials. However, confusion could be caused by stickers falling off of the proper bags and getting stuck to the wrong bags.  These sticker labels could also be difficult to find on the bag.  Our new linen labeling method uses a plastic link and hanging tag, rather than a sticker. Our new tagging method is much more secure and prevents disappearing labels. These new tags, which hang from the same spot on each linen, also make finding labels much easier for our clients and our warehouse personnel and thus, ensure that our clients receive the proper linen for their requested orders.

2015-11-25 17.13.54

The second improvement to our linen process was created to aid in product recovery through our post-event cleanup process. In the past, linen was often gathered and collected into garbage bags after an event. This sometimes created confusion and led to linens being thrown out. Other times, linens were stuffed into proofing cabinets. This created difficulties later in locating the linens and could even ruin the linen. We wanted our post-event process to be as easy as possible for our partners. We identified that, in order to to this, we needed to provide our clients with the proper tools to return linen in an organized manner. To ensure that all linens were properly removed from the venue immediately after the event’s conclusion, we sent new orange linen bags with the order (which you may have seen on our Instagram).

2015-11-25 17.10.38
These bright orange linen bags are easy to spot for our customers’ sanitation teams, as well as our pickup team.  We have instructed our pickup teams to count and place all linens in our orange SDPR bags, which are also tagged with the event name and contract number, assuring proper credit once returned in our inbound counting process. With two major improvements in our linen process, SDPR was ready for Taste! The event went off without a hitch and the return process was measurably more accurate. SDPR can’t wait to partner with New York Magazine’s amazing team again next year!

Seth Goes to The Canton Fair

IMG_0002The Canton Fair is the largest trade-show in the world and has the most complete variety of products on display at any one time. This past October, our Chief Difference Officer, Seth Stern, was in attendance and went shopping!

One of our top priorities at SDPR is to constantly identify and source the planet’s most timeless, relevant and unique assortment of product that can be used in the special events market. Seth travels the world in search of these items, acting as a trusted partner and resource for our partners as they strive to create the planet’s most unique and discerning events.

Having arrived in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, Seth was greeted by our SDPR China sourcing representative. Together, they went to the Canton Fair where they viewed exotic styles of chinaware, flatware and chairs. For two days, Seth attended the fair, searching for new looks to bring back for our partners’ events. While he spoke with many foreign suppliers at the show, the trip was not complete without a visit to some of our primary suppliers in other parts of the country. A porcelain supplier, two chair companies and a flatware manufacturer were also on the list of visits Seth made while in China.

The SD Reserve Collection is a special collection of our latest and most design forward items which are curated with our top partners in mind. After every sourcing trip, the new items which we procure are added directly into the SD Reserve Collection as a first stop on their journey into the special events market. For the first 30 days after arrival, this collection of design forward product is  available exclusively to our top partners. So the question is: what did Seth bring back this time? Only time will tell!


Wildlife Conservation Society Gala with Thomas Preti Caterers


On June 11th 2015, the Wildlife Conservation Society held its annual gala at the Central Park Zoo to celebrate its significant role in protecting vulnerable marine species. For a cause that’s so important, Something Different Party Rental and our partner, Thomas Preti Caterers, were on the scene!


Putting together an event of this magnitude is usually very stressful and our partners rely on SDPR to take the stress away.  We have created standardized processes that allow us to ensure very minimal margin for error. Our glassware and china is washed, visually inspected and then labeled with the initials of its inspector, allowing us to track back errors and provide corrective training actions. We have two way radios to our drivers and GPS tracking on all of our trucks, ensuring accountability every step of the way.  Our standardized packing and labeling process allows our partners to easily locate and identify the things they need when they need them.  SDPR takes care of every detail, from labeling our 60 inch round tables with “SDPR 60R” to packing our trucks according to exact delivery instructions from our partners.

Our team set the 60 inch round tables in the main tent, where they were draped in our Cornsilk linen and surrounded by our white resin folding chairs. Our 8 foot tables created bars for the adults, while our kiddie tables seated the youngsters. Hot dog and ice cream carts were rolled in and provided classic summer treats.  None of this could have happened without first creating a state of the art outdoor kitchen complete with proofing cabinets, baker’s racks and ovens.  In the kitchen and serving the guests, Thomas Preti’s team was able to focus on working their culinary magic, without the worry and hassle of missing items, dirty items, late deliveries or items in wrong locations (problems that can drive a caterer wild). The end result? Delighted guests, a memorable celebration, and another seamless order.


Prince George Ballroom’s 10th Anniversary


This July 16th marked Prince George Ballroom’s 10th Anniversary, as did a Roaring Soiree honoring years of beautiful events and thriving professional relationships. Common Ground, the nonprofit which owns Prince George Ballroom, crafted an event to remember, using their most trusted vendors to deliver every detail. With everything from production to music and catering to rentals, each vendor supplied their always exceptional work to put together Prince George Ballroom’s vision and Something Different was proud to be a part of it.

Not only did Something Different provide the rentals for this magnificent event, but our account managers, Samantha and Christina, also designed the jazzy table-scape to match the night’s Roaring 20’s theme. Our Something Different display tables showcased our exclusive chargers, designer plates and bowls. Sample flatware was presented for attendees, who then voted on their favorite sets to determine which two flatware collections will be added to our inventory.

Bronzino stuffed puri passed on our silver platters and an assortment from steak tartar to steak Diane lined the tables. But everyone took a moment from loading their Quadrato square glass plates with crispy shrimp bao buns to appreciate what the night truly signified: partnering for a good cause. In 2005, Common Ground completed the restoration of the Prince George Ballroom, which is now used for corporate events, weddings, fundraisers and much more, from which all proceeds support Common Ground’s housing development and outreach programs. This partnership is a piece of Something Different’s program to be socially responsible, in which we use our products and services to give back to the local community. Partnering with Prince George Ballroom over these past years has helped place countless homeless and low-income New Yorkers into supportive housing. Here, at Something Different, we always find our work rewarding and this partnership is a great example of that. We look forward to many more years of working with Prince George Ballroom, supplying our rentals and service for every perfect event.

DSC_1244-3 DSC_1252-4 DSC_1302-2 DSC_1343



Pictured Left – Right:  (Top Row) Wil Durango, Seth Stern, Juan Molina.  (Front Row) Elaine Easton, Samantha Sajban, Christina Michelucci, Luiggy Estrella, Irene Katsaros, Omira Navarro, Susan Lieberman, Carmel Tortora


Seth Stern – Chief Difference Officer

Seth is the owner of the company and he knows how to get his hands dirty.  Seth loves to work side by side with his employees. From pressing freshly cleaned linen at the flatiron to discussing new partnership integration with our customer care team he is a great example of leadership.

Favorite Part of My Job: Creating and developing a world class team of employees that are obsessed with making all of the difference in our partners companies and their events.

Guilty Pleasure: Domino’s – A Brooklyn style pizza with extra robust tomato sauce, pepperoni, sausage, and pineapple. Since he’s always watching his figure, he of course loves to wash his pizza down with a Diet Coke!


Irene Katsaros – Director of Operations

Irene started with the company as Customer Services Supervisor but with her expertise in all things warehouse she has moved into her role as Director of Operations. She has made all the “Difference” with new processes and procedures by bringing a higher level of consistency to everything our Operations Center does.

Favorite Part of My Job: Finding solutions for difficult problems

Guilty Pleasure: Eating a slab of bacon & buying from Amazon Prime


Wil Durango – Operations Leader

Wil is no young buck when it comes to event rentals. He has been in the industry for 29+ years and his knowledge of venues, products, and procedures makes him our go-to guy for teaching our various teams how to execute with precision.

Favorite Part of My Job: Assisting in load-ins at highly complex events while ensuring our standards of quality and service for our partners.

Guilty Pleasure: Eating pizza at the movies


Luiggy Estrella – Operations Supervisor

Luiggy can work in many different areas of Something Different but you are mostly likely able to find him routing the trucks and scheduling the drivers for the next day’s deliveries and pickups.

Favorite Part of My Job: Tracking the trucks and making sure the trucks get to their destinations on time.

Guilty Pleasure: Playing the video game FIFA 2015 (never at work!)


Susan Lieberman – Process Improvement Manager

Susan wears many different hats here at something different; Human Resources Generalist, Process engineering and continual quality improvement, hiring new employees, and even nurse.

Favorite Part of My Job: Training new employees

Guilty Pleasure: Her 3rd glass of wine.


Elaine Easton – Director of Accounting

Elaine is one of the newest members of our team and she immediately fit in and got to business. She’s capable and tough and loves to help our partners pay us on time!  Oh, she keeps our employees getting paid on time too!!!

Favorite Part of My Job: Working with numbers and being able to work closely with all of our customers as well as learning about different products.

Guilty Pleasure: Reading Books (Motor Cycle Club Romance Books)


Samantha Sajban – Director of Customer Care

Sam is the youngest of our crew and knows no bounds when it comes to working hard.  She’s such an important spoke in the wheel of our team that we call her the Golden Child. (GC for short) Sam came to us fresh out of college and wants to help our clients execute the best events possible.

Favorite Part of My Job: working directly with clients from start to finish and ensuring their orders are produced correctly and efficiently

Guilty Pleasure: Eating Ben & Jerry’s Hazed and Confused ice cream and watching Married at First Sight


Christina Michelucci – Account Manager

Christina came to Something Different from the rental industry and immediately felt right at home here. Christina loves to use her passion for design by helping our partners to plan and execute a perfect event atmosphere.

Favorite Part of My Job: Connecting with clients and seeing the end result of our collaboration

Guilty Pleasure: Listening and watching Boy Bands and watching Reality TV