By Natalie Lariccia

Local company adds its touch to hall of fame events

The company is the lead designer for Saturday’s induction ceremony.

CANFIELD – Downtown Cleveland will be buzzing with energy, celebrities and music this week, marking the arrival of the 2009 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

One local event-planning business, meanwhile, is working hard behind the scenes putting together the finishing touches to ensure some of the week’s events look flawless and fabulous and that the guests are treated to a rocking good time.

The Canfield-based Something New Events is the lead designer of the Rock Hall’s VIP party Friday and the 24th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony Saturday.

Joe Mineo, Something New owner and president, said his company’s role is especially an honor because this year’s ceremony marks the first time the event will take in place in Cleveland since 1997.

This year’s list of performer inductees include Jeff Beck, Little Anthony and the Imperials, Metallica, Run-DMC and Bobby Womack.

The event will be broadcast live on Fuse TV as part of a new three-year broadcast deal between the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Fuse.

Mineo said he has been coordinating events for the Rock Hall for the past eight years, typically about four events a year. He said he is honored to be a part of an event like the induction ceremony.

Mineo has spent “hundreds of hours” and has taken many trips to New York to meet and plan ideas with officials over the past six months in preparation for the festivities. He and his staff then put the ideas into motion by designing the events.

The VIP party will spotlight a rock and roll theme, featuring four floors of brightly-colored lounge furniture and large illuminated hanging globes. Live models, painted as gold statues, will help direct guests to different areas of the party.

The induction ceremony, meanwhile, will feature a more formal, yet Gothic, setting that complements the overall structure of the hall of fame.

Mineo and his team worked with a New York graphic design company to develop d cor ideas. The ceremony will feature elements of glass, water, scrap iron and crushed glass. The color scheme will involve pale blue, gold and lime green.

Creating the design for events as large as Friday and Saturday’s will be a challenge. At least 1,200 guests are expected to attend each event. Mineo and his team of at least 20 Something New staffers will be responsible for coordinating the logistics and ensuring an orderly flow of media, security and guest traffic.

Mineo and his team must also be efficient and organized – they have only about 21‚Ñ2 hours to set up for the VIP party. He anticipates that they won’t get much sleep during the two-day period.

Events such as the VIP party and the induction ceremony inspire Mineo and his team to push their creative limits, sometimes using unconventional mediums.

The table centerpieces, for example, will be scattered with crushed glass from shattered windshields that Mineo and his team obtained from local junkyards. The crushed glass is coated in a protective glaze and will not cut anyone, yet adds a unique “confetti effect,” he said.

“You definitely have to think out of the box because it’s the Rock Hall. It’s not a formal wedding. You have to think edgy, trendy. You have to think rock and roll,” Mineo said.

Mineo, a Youngstown native and 1982 Ursuline High School graduate, started Something New on the city’s North Side in December 1987, shortly after graduating from New York University. The business began as a floral shop, but he added event planning shortly after.

As business grew, Mineo increased his staff and his store size, moving to its current headquarters in 1999 at 4500 Boardman-Canfield Road.

Mineo is responsible for overseeing the business’s nearly 300 events a year. His sister, Anna Howells, who became his partner in 1999, runs Something New’s daily floral orders and retail gift shop business.

“I love what I do. No matter how stressful it can be, I love what I do,” Mineo said. “I really love making memorable events for my clients that will live for years from now.”

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