We’re three weeks into January, past the bitter cold and I think I’m finally beginning to accept that it’s 2024. The buzz and adrenaline coming off the end of a year, coupled with the heightened energy from holiday celebrations filled with rich delicacies and bubbles always seem to make a new year take an extra minute to settle in.

For Savor, 2023 was a blur – mostly because January’s quiet and time for reflection didn’t exist last year. Our 2023 was filled with new clients and new events, both big and small, and I think it’s important to take a beat and reflect on all of it. I’ll never sit here and act like hot shit, claiming “oh it was NBD” when in reality, we were equally pumped and bewildered to be drinking from such a firehose for a whole year.

Ok, so I bit on the trend and made a 2023 wrapped… and damn, we did some things.

We certainly have come a long way from producing only one event a year. I am so proud to have this incredible community of diners, restaurants, small businesses, locals, tourists, and people who love doing cool things in Boulder all part of something bigger – Savoring Boulder.

*Pinch Me* Moments

Aside from our exciting rebrand exactly one year ago, there were a few particular “pinch me” moments in 2023 for our Savor team.

Premiering The Sink Film at Boulder Theater

In the meetings with The Sink, we presented their team with the idea that we needed a BIG premiere of their film. We pushed them to let us buy out Boulder Theater, and they trusted our instinct saying go for it. In the days leading up to the event, the ticket sales were terrible, and sadly our MC had to have emergency surgery… we had no choice but to pick up the mic (literally) and run with it. 48 hours out we started to see ticket sales explode, and we walked into the theater on June 17 eager for a special night with a few hundred people. What we didn’t expect was to sell out the main theater and to host 650 Sink Rats. We certainly didn’t expect the standing ovation, the chills, and the tears that came throughout the night for The Sink. The high from this moment lasted all year. Thank you, Boulder!

Prime Time Block Party 

There are certain moments in life you can’t script. Labor Day Weekend, CU Football played TCU in the first game of the season, the first under Coach Prime. There have been a few big stories published on the Prime effect, and we certainly felt it on this day as we were hosting the big Sink Block Party immediately following the game. As the touchdowns were scored, the vibe on The Hill got louder and bigger, and as the Buffs shocked the world and CU won the game, the excitement in the air was electric! Car horns blaring and cheers from all corners bled out onto the sidewalks and into our block party to truly set the tone for one of the best celebrations of the year!

To Market with Chef

One of our big goals as a team last year was to go “deeper, not wider” in our engagements with diners and restaurants. One of the ways we attained this was in our event during First Bite where we partnered with Boulder County Farmers Markets to host an intimate Market Tour and Chef Demonstration. We brought along our dear friend Chef Daniel Asher of River & Woods and Working Title Food Group. Daniel’s deep passion for food, sustainability, and the ethos of his cooking is magnetic, to say the least. We spent the beautiful morning following him through the market, meeting local purveyors, learning about their businesses and products, and tasting the last perfect plum of the summer… I still think about that plum. After tasting and meandering our way through the market, we got to cooking for our group, and hundreds of other market-goers. The energy of cooking with Chef (Yes Chef!) and the time spent interacting with all the amazing people who visited our booth was truly one of our favorite days of the year.

Write it Down… and Throw it Away

My dad instilled in me a poignant way to learn from your mistakes and move on. In life, you’ll have highs and lows, and it’s important to reflect on both. The highs, you should write down and keep them in your pocket – revisit them from time to time. Remind yourself you’re capable when you’re down. The lows, you should also write those down. But read them to learn from them, and then throw them away. Don’t dwell on mistakes, move on.

Drinking from a Firehose

Drinking from a firehose is not something I’d recommend. Burnout culture truly celebrates this state of working, and Boulder is full of burned-out entrepreneurs. Savor leaned into this hard in 2023, just accepting that 80 hours a week and regularly being 10’ underwater was going to be how we made it through. I regret accepting this, and it’s our #1 goal of 2024 to build our workload within our capacity.

Evolution

Our other big learning moment from the year is rooted in the belief that we need to constantly improve and evolve. For First Bite, an event that celebrated its 18th year in 2023, we continued to add new events, tweak the concept, and create exciting details for the diners (and the media) to get excited about. This idea will always backfire though if not executed in lockstep with desire and need. We ignored the reports on inflation rates, economic spending, and the struggling restaurant industry and plowed forward. Consequently, some of our new rollouts were met with a whole lot less fanfare than we had hoped. The lesson here is to read the room and accept that sometimes the status quo is exactly what is needed.

As we spent the end of 2023 reflecting on our year, our highs (and lows), we very consciously explored what 2024 could look like. We’re excited about what this year will bring. New clients, new events. Old clients, old events. It’s all part of what we will savor, and we look forward to savoring it with you.

Author : Jessica Benjamin

Jessica Benjamin

Jessica Benjamin is the fearless leader behind Savor Productions. With her unmatched dedication to the local community, and her more than 20 years of experience in event production and marketing, Jess guides the Savor team with heart and passion. Tacos are the way to her soul, and when she's not working, you'll find her in her garden and kitchen with her family.

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