What a roller coaster year of emotions 2020 has been. In January, we started off the year by losing one of our team members – Marco Jastillana – and could sense that it was going to be a rough one in general. Only to arrive in March to a worldwide pandemic and Shelter-in-place order. The entire live events industry was shut down, and we lost 81% of all our income.

I had no idea what was to come of Make it Mariko, but we weren’t going to sit around and wait to find out. We pivoted quickly with our event partners at AddVirtual, and started producing virtual events in April. It’s been a crazy adventure since then with hardly any breaks.

We planned 48 events in 2020
(a 17% increase from last year)!
27 were Virtual events.

Now in December, instead of having to shut down our business, I’m SO GRATEFUL to say that we’re celebrating our 5-Year Anniversary for Make it Mariko! I know that many others in the events industry weren’t so lucky, and for that, I have nothing but endless GRATITUDE for our Clients, Event Partners, and Vendors who stood by our side, referred us for virtual events, and helped this ALL WOMEN-OF-COLOR SMALL BIZ THRIVE!

Here’s a countdown of some of our favorite magical, meaningful moments in true Make it Mariko form. ENJOY 🙂

With endless gratitude, joy, and hope,

Gina Mariko
Founder & Owner

1) Pivoting a Greek Wedding to a Drive Thru Celebration

Photo by Melissa De Mata

We love go-with-the-flow couples! Katherine & Mark were determined to get married in whatever way was allowed, so we pivoted their giant Greek festival into an intimate Drive Thru Wedding with all the same food trucks! >> SEE MORE PHOTOS

2) Centering Black Lives with Tatlong Bagsak Online

Illustrations by @angeltrazo

In partnership with amazing community activists, educators, and leaders, we came together to learn how to honorably move forward in solidarity and support for Black lives by hosting a virtual event and launching an open source anti-blackness curriculum. >> FIND CURRICULUM HERE

3) Completing Our First 3-Timezone, 15-Hour Virtual Event

Photo by RJ Navalta

This was only our 2nd event on Hopin, and we were able to bring together this corporate client’s audiences in three different time zones which was received with open arms, as well as harmonized naps!

4) Managing 6 Virtual Stages with Lesbians Who Tech

We were so thankful to be able to work with the amazing Lesbians Who Tech team to pivot their huge LGBTQ Tech conference onto Hopin, consult on the virtual experience, and Stage Manage 5 Virtual Stages + 1 Tech Stage for 100+ Speakers!

5) Bringing A Physical Touch to Virtual Spaces with Vendor Experiences

From virtual wine tastings, to cooking demos, to Karaoke Lounges, and Puzzle Rooms, we were so thankful to our partners and vendors for their curated virtual experiences for our clients, especially this really fun holiday party with Figma

6) Witnessing the Smarts of Changemakers

Having the opportunity to host stellar VIPs like Marc Benioff, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ambassador Susan Rice and more with our client, Knotch, was a star show! Shout out to Knotch who booked us for a bunch of virtual events this year!

7) Connecting 400+ Global Pinays to Build Sisterhood Online

Video by Marjess Nikole & Amyra Soriano

Year 3 of Pinayista Summit was not short of laughter, lessons, and love! Bringing Pinayista to the virtual space meant we were able to connect and build relationships with more Pinays/Pinxys around the world who we may not have met in-person. >> SEE MORE PHOTOS

8) Lumpia + Wine Pairings with E-40 at UNDISCOVERED X

E-40 and The Lumpia Company did not disappoint in this cooking demo to close out Day 1 of UNDISCVRD X, where we took culture to another level. >> SEE MORE VIDEOS

9) Helping San Francisco Small Businesses Stay Open Safely Outdoors

Photo by Toni Zernik

COVID + Wildfires + Farmers Market Opening = sharpened patience and gratitude. We set out to provide the space to help keep local businesses running during a global pandemic. We designed outdoor parklet spaces and an entire street closure for a Farmers Market. Our launch date was postponed twice due to wildfires, but we eventually launched a street closure and outdoor market for 5 weeks straight in TWO SF Districts: Excelsior & SoMa.

10) Getting a Taste of In-Person Events Thru Virtual Livestream Hubs

Video by Kollective Hustle 

With complex livestream events came the need to create in-person livestream hubs so our production team could successfully collaborate with our clients on complex live timing cues, camera angles, lighting, and sound production. We loved being able to curate livestream hubs and actually DESIGN something this year! Here’s a behind the scenes clip from our event with Filipinx changemakers, Kollective Hustle. 

Thank you endlessly to everyone who has supported us this year through the madness! We love and appreciate you all.
Join us Dec 30th for our 5-year Anniversary Party!