Business partners for nearly two decades, twins Emily and Amber are re-defining what hospitality looks like. Their passion for events, travel, food + beverage and entertaining are infused in each unique client experience they design. Trusted for their ability to elevate guest experiences, brands and clients are turning to Karson Butler to make their next activation, event or celebration one people can't stop talking about.
Karson Butler Events believes the details make all the difference – from finding one-of-a-kind design elements to skillfully tailoring and managing complex international events. For the past twenty years they've helped corporations, board of directors, associations, agencies and private clients elevate their guest experiences worldwide in markets including India, Portugal, the Bahamas, Costa Rica, England, Iceland, and across the United States to name a few! They've come a long way, but never forget where they came from - a small farming community in a one-stop light town - and that humble background helps define who they are at the core.
Trusted voices in the event, hospitality and tourism industry for the past two decades, Amber and Emily have been featured on The Today Show, The Washington Post, Town & Country, Martha Stewart Weddings, Glamour, Biz Bash & more! They were once named by Special Events Magazine as one of the top 25 young event pros under 40 to watch in the nation. Karson Butler is passionate about sharing their expertise with others - as featured speakers on national stages, in their community advocating for the strategic direction of the industry, and in the classroom mentoring the next generation of leaders.
Crafting elevated experiences rooted in exceptional hospitality.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Founder and CEO Amber Karson has been an international leader in the experience industry for 21 years – specializing in luxury programs that intersect food, wine, travel and hospitality. Prior to starting Karson Butler Events, Amber worked as the Sr. Event Planner for Franklin Templeton Investments leading complex global meetings & special events worldwide.
Amber currently serves on Cal Poly's Experience Industry Management (EIM) Department Advisory Council and has been an adjunct professor in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences for the past six years, teaching in both the EIM and Wine & Viticulture Departments. She regularly teaches classes on Strategic Event Planning; Experience Design; Hospitality, Convention & Meeting Management and Wine, Beer, Spirits & Food Agritourism. She is passionate about giving back to the next generation of leaders.
Amber is a member of the San Luis Obispo County (SLO CAL) Events & Festivals Strategy Working Group and the Downtown SLO Association Events & Fundraising Committee. During COVID, Amber was a leader in the community developing best practices for safe re-opening and worked hand in hand with the City of San Luis Obispo leadership to create new economic development strategies.
A graduate of Cal Poly's Orfalea College of Business (BUS '01), Amber studied marketing and also holds a professional meeting & events certificate from Cal State University Long Beach ('03). In 2007 Amber earned her Certified Meeting Professional credentials, one of the highest honors in the meetings and events industry.
Amber loves gardening, historical architecture and time spent on the Central Coast's rolling green hills with her vizsla pup, Ferris.
Chief Creative Officer
As CCO, Emily leads all aspects of design and guest experience at Karson Butler Events. From the tangible creative elements to the unspoken feeling factor, Emily thrives at understanding guest behavior. She cares about your attendees' journey – the sum of experiences that they will go through when they interact with your brand.
Emily's background includes Brand Management for Toyota & Lexus, working in their US headquarters and creating brand and marketing strategies in the auto industry. With prior experience leading a team of over 100 brand energizers in the field, Emily’s creativity and insightful campaigns shaped her passion for delivering a strong guest experience from beginning to end.
Emily also leads the KBE retail and gifting division, Karson Butler at the Ah Louis Store in San Luis Obispo, CA. On the National Register of Historic Places, the entertaining general store is a must-visit stop for tourists cruising Highway 101, the local Central Coast community and reaches customers nationwide with a robust e-commerce strategy. Emily is known for discovering the latest trends ahead of the market and is a tastemaker in the events and retail industries.
For over a decade Emily has established Karson Butler Events as a national leader in the social event scene. Named as one of the top wedding planners in the country by Martha Stewart, Washingtonian, California Wedding Day and more, Emily's blend of east coast formality meets west coast coolness attracts high profile clientele.
Emily's interest in human behavior started when she studied Psychology at California State University, Chico ('00). She holds a professional meeting & events certificate from Cal State University Long Beach ('09).
Emily splits her time between California and Washington, DC where she enjoys scouting the newest restaurants, traveling to see friends, and keeping up with the latest Tik-Tok trend!
Our skilled team of employees are a key to our success. From serving as Experience Leads onsite at our events to managing day-to-day operations at The Ah Louis Store, our core team is second to none!
Event Assistant Pool
Our pool of event assistants consists of a mix of seasoned event professionals, to production leads and all-star students studying Experience Industry Management and Wine & Viticulture. Our vigorous training on professionalism and elevated hospitality standards sets our team apart. Together, we become an extension of your project team or event. Your guests will feel the KBE difference.