Anna Zevenhuizen, special events and marketing manager for Midtown Events, is the woman behind the hundreds of events produced at North Hills each year. As mixed-use developments across the country work to attract visitors and create a sense of community, North Hills has become an industry leader by offering free concerts, farmers’ markets, wine and food events, and family activities. Truly, there is something for everyone.
As North Hills kicks off its spring and summer event season with its signature Beach Music Concert series in its 11th year, Anna talks to North Hills Live about building community and creating memorable experiences in Midtown Raleigh.
North Hills Live: What is the vision of North Hills’ events program?
Anna Zevenhuizen: Kane Realty’s Midtown Events is tasked with activating the outdoor base at North Hills and really rounding out the guest experience on property. Once you come on-site, you can shop, go to dinner, and stay to experience an event that’s happening. We are responsible for the events, as well as the beautification of the property and the public art program.
NHL: Why are events an important part of the branding and success of mixed-use developments like North Hills?
AZ: Our goal is to create and sustain a community surrounding North Hills, and that’s exactly what events do. Events give people many reasons to visit North Hills. Some of our events draw the same people week after week and year after year. It’s special to see the same people returning for these events and enjoying the benefits of living in the greater North Hills community.
NHL: Do you get calls from other mixed-use developments and organizations about the events program at North Hills?
AZ: Certainly. We get inquiries all the time about our model. It’s something that’s been honed over time, and I think a lot of properties would love to implement something like our events program.
NHL: Does the events program attract businesses to locate their offices at North Hills?
AZ: I think our leasing team does a good job highlighting that North Hills is so much more than an office space or tenant space. Employers love that there are existing events and amenities on-site for their employees to enjoy. Free concerts, food trucks, Wellness Wednesdays, and the many other events we produce make North Hills an attractive place to employers and their employees.
NHL: Do many of the neighbors who live nearby— but not on the North Hills property—attend events?
AZ: Absolutely! We have such a close working relationship with the surrounding neighborhoods and North Hills is an invaluable amenity to them. On the days we have kids’ events, you see moms pouring out from almost every street in the surrounding areas. It’s really something special to witness!
NHL: Will the number or type of events change once the new phase of North Hills East is developed?
AZ: It will be fun to see how Midtown Events can flex our muscles with a different space. An acoustic music series may be something we consider for the expansion. The expansion will really lend itself to food trucks during the lunch hour, and I am sure there will be a wellness and fitness component, too.
NHL: What do you enjoy most about your job?
AZ: Interacting with all the guests at the events on property. When you have worked so hard to produce an event, and you look out on the crowd, and everyone is enjoying themselves – you see everyone from grandparents to toddlers dancing and having fun – there is no better feeling than that. The fact that we get to do this year after year and see many of the same guests return is pretty special.
NHL: What’s your favorite North Hills event to attend?
AZ: Probably Sunday FUNday lawn party. It’s an enjoyable, laid-back afternoon with rosé tasting, lawn games, and live music.
NHL: How do you spend your time when you are not working?
AZ: I like to play tennis, I love to cook, and I love trying new restaurants. I also like attending other live music events to see how other organizations are doing things, and if there is something we can learn or do differently.
Prior to joining Midtown Events, Anna was the marketing and public relations director of a boutique luxury real estate firm in Charleston, South Carolina. In this role, she held her South Carolina real estate license and managed all print media, web, and social media components and the firm’s special events, including support and sponsorship of the Charleston Wine & Food Festival®. Before her transition into real estate, she worked for a regional publishing company as production manager for its signature event, Charleston Fashion Week®, and signature publication, Charleston Magazine.
To learn more about upcoming events at North Hills, visit http://visitnorthhills.com/events/.