Meet April Luca, the Architect Behind Variety’s Power of Women Event: I ‘Built My Career in the Business of Vibes’

April Luca, founder of Gold Sky Productions, is an expert in the curious art of curating vibes. “One of my first events was in Soho, N.Y., and a famous radio host leaked the event location on his show that day,” Luca begins with a smile. “The event guest list was already at 500, with a venue cap at 200. Hours before the event started, uninvited guests began lining the streets of Soho, queuing up for the event.” The line snaked around the blocks of Lower Manhattan. The door person was a no-show so Luca started handling her duties herself — at which point she got pinged that the guest of honor got into a car accident on the way. Buzzed by police helicopters and facing a determined and indomitable queue, Luca did what almost no one else could: “We partied,” says Luca. “And my pink dress slayed.” 

“I am someone who built my career in the business of vibes,” explains Luca, defining the enigmatic buzzword as “the intangible pulse of a party.” Luca continues, “To calibrate one’s own intuition to something at once so specific and yet so intangible is the X-factor insight that sets Gold Sky apart.” Events become defined by their guest lists, glamour and good energy, but a successful production is a testament to exactly how much work, creative instinct and business savvy goes into a memorable brand activation. Gold Sky specializes in producing award-winning, multisensory experience designs for brands and studios nationwide — and forward-thinking corporate clients. Luca describes the hook thusly: “An event is made by its guests; the brand direction and production are the canvas for their painted experiences.” 

Most recently, Luca and her team partnered with Variety to produce this year’s annual Power of Women: Los Angeles event, set to take place on Thursday, Sept. 28. The annual celebration recognizes Hollywood’s most philanthropic women whose efforts have made a significant impact on their chosen charities and causes. 

“Our creative producer, Amy Bailie, worked tirelessly on each detail for the design and build, from gorgeous and unique table settings that would accent perfectly with the centerpiece floral to the custom moments for guests,” Luca notes. “Our collaboration with Variety is one where Gold Sky interprets their direction and brings their vision to the world.” 

Power of Women: Los Angeles, now in its 13th year, also marks another collaboration between Gold Sky and Variety, which have worked together on executing past installments of the Power of Women franchise, as well as a slew of other events, including Variety Sundance Studio, “10 Animators to Watch” and Variety Women in Film.  

“Power of Women is about empowering and celebrating other women, and so I’ve made a conscious effort to hire some of the industry’s leading female businesses and vendors to produce this event,” says Jamie Aronson, Variety’s managing director of event marketing. “Gold Sky understands the Variety brand and elegantly and consistently channels that messaging in the myriad events that Gold Sky produces for us.” 

An agency capable of delivering such unique visions starts with a unique founder, and Luca’s sui generis career doesn’t disappoint. She began in New York nightlife, which was, in a word, intense. It was nightlife that was her proving ground, and her experiences there — and the ones fit to print — show how nontraditional backgrounds provide critical insight into neighbor industries. Call it the Cross-Pollination Theory of Creativity. Luca just calls it “fun.” 

Luca ran marketing and biz dev as well as head of events at era-defining clubs in New York City and Hollywood. These places live or die by their vibes, and what this means in practice is equal parts jazz improvisation and MMA. “Nightlife is not a 9 to 5 job, to be sure,” Luca says. “It’s closer to a 5 to 9, at which point you’re back in the office that next morning doing the desk work.” One memorable December had 28 events booked across 14 days — and Luca was running between venues in stilettos, dialed into two different radios with one earbud in each ear. She recommends outfits that can be changed in the backs of cabs and makeup routines that abrupt lane changes won’t ruin. 

Gold Sky’s dedication allows for continuous evolution, from expanding its robust client list to innovating in the metaverse and Web3 spaces. When it comes to offering bespoke solutions for clients of all sizes and producing events of every scale, whether it be in-person, virtual or a hybrid of both, being adaptive, remaining calm and serving as a “steady hand” for clients are essential. 

“A growth mindset is key,” asserts Luca. “What this means is a constant evaluation of you and your team’s performance, with the house lights up, so to speak. Events, by their nature, involve so many moving parts and contingencies — weather, permitting, trucking, etc. — that there is always room to improve your performance, whether you’re a seasoned professional or it’s your first day on the job.” 

Luca believes the event industry is an evolving and even essential art in which women have traditionally been central players and visionaries. “Whether we are talking ancient maenads running bacchanalia in the wild Roman woods or more contemporary nightlife and events, women have been committed to building better societies through acts of community, and that essentialism pulses in the Gold Sky heart.” 

To learn more about Gold Sky Productions, visit https://www.goldskyproductions.com/. 

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