Good, better, brilliant â€” The Advisory Board of Special Events reviewed hundreds of entries to select these, the nominees for the Gala Awards. Come celebrate the honorees and applaud the winners on Jan. 15 at The Special Event 2010 in New Orleans.
1. DOMINIC PHILLIPS EVENT MARKETING, SAN FRANCISCO
A Labor Day weekend event celebrating good, clean, fairly sourced food, “Slow Food Nation 2008” brought together 85,000 people, including food and beverage providers, farmers and families representing 44 states and 10 countries. Program elements included the star-chef-studded Green Kitchen, the farmers and artisans' Marketplace, and the Food for Thought Speaker Series.
2. EVENT ARCHITECTS, CHICAGO
Event Architects didn't just produce “Rachael's Big Block Party” — the firm also secured sponsors, managed registration and organized logistics in conjunction with the city of Chicago. The event, celebrating the fourth-season premiere of the Emmy-winning “Rachael Ray Show,” included celebrity-chef cooking demos and a fitness challenge with former contestants from “The Biggest Loser” TV program.
3. THE LUNDQUIST CO., ROSEVILLE, CALIF.
With a focus on the healthy upbringing of children under age five, the “First 5 Sacramento Children's Celebration 2008” combined education with entertainment in a six-hour interactive extravaganza. With 6,277 revelers in attendance — 277 more than anticipated — the $125,000-budget event still managed to come in $390 under budget.
4. EXPERIENTIAL EVENTS, CALGARY, ALBERTA
To create an eye-catching invitation for the groundbreaking event of a new science center, Experiential Events turned to technology. The firm's “i\cue” design — the letters stand for “innovation,” “collaboration,” “you” and “experimentation” — referenced iPods, URLs and the notion of an action trigger.
5. JOBE & ASSOCIATES, DUBLIN, OHIO
Invitations to the Nationwide Financial Networks' President's Club meeting in Costa Rica featured banana paper, kiri wood, shredded cedar excelsior and jute. Packaged in shrink-wrapped custom boxes, the invitations included information on event registration and local activities, accented by a brand design featuring orange leaves.
6. PLEON EVENT & SPONSORING, BONN, GERMANY
Tasked with creating the invitation for client InteractiveMedia's 2009 road show, Pleon Event & Sponsoring designed a piece that linked InteractiveMedia products to the arts. A portion of the 1,000 invitations were hand-delivered in paint cans along with reply fax forms. In post-event feedback, nearly 90 percent of event attendees praised the invitations and the delivery process.
BEST DINING TABLE DESIGN
7. JANET FLOWERS WEDDING & EVENT DESIGNS, ROCKVILLE, MD.
“Tasteful opulence” was the design directive for dining tables at a spring wedding at the Galleria at Lafayette Centre in Washington. Some tables featured silver-leafed wrought-iron trees and silver bear grass, others showcased crystal candelabra accented by green and white hydrangeas and white roses, while still others displayed 40-inch-high crystal trumpet vases brimming with silver-leafed curly willow.
8. MAGIC MOMENTS CATERING AND EVENT FACILITIES, NORCROSS, GA.
Keying on the phrase “opposites attract,” Magic Moments mixed round and square tables for this 100-guest spring wedding. For the bride's square “Shadow Box” table, the design team used deep-red silk fabric with stitched fleur de lis accents to honor the New Orleans-bred bride, red roses mixed and green orchids, and a tall, fluted glass vase centerpiece.
9. ONE SMOOTH STONE, DOWNERS GROVE, ILL.
Guests at a software company's premiere incentive event arrived by helicopter to lunch, which was perched on a 500-foot cliff overlooking Manele Bay in Lanai, Hawaii. There they found five tables topped with BBJ Linen's Kyoto Autumn linen; centerpieces featuring yellow Gerbera daisies, black calla lilies and pineapples, and miniature pineapples nestled in BBJ's Cornsilk bengaline napkins.
BEST OFF-PREMISE CATERED EVENT
10. A LEGENDARY EVENT, ATLANTA
With 40 top designers contributing their creativity to 2008's DIFFA “Dining by Design” event, A Legendary Event had to create a menu that was both innovative and adaptable to the many different table-design themes. The first course, “A Nouveau Explosion,” featured diminutive portions of light, fresh nouvelle cuisine. The meal closed with individual, one-of-a-kind desserts for each guest — all prepared in a tightly packed 30-by-50-foot catering kitchen.
11. CULINARY CAPERS CATERING, BEIJING
Chinese lion dancers and drummers greeted 120 international doctors at an exclusive luncheon staged on the Great Wall of China. Culinary Capers prepared a meal of Peking duck and scallop terrine, and grilled beef tenderloin with jumbo prawns. The most daunting challenge: the hand-delivery of all equipment up 80 steep, crooked stone steps.
12. CULINARY CAPERS CATERING, VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA
At an employee and supplier thank-you event for a respected restaurateur, Culinary Capers served 330 guests a six-course plated luncheon of star-anise-glazed short ribs and handmade gnocchi with chanterelle mushrooms. A choreographed serving plan ensured that food would leave the 30-by-50-foot kitchen tent and arrive at the dining tent at the peak of perfection.
BEST CATERED EVENT PRODUCED BY A HOTEL BANQUET DEPARTMENT
13. CHICAGO RESTAURANT PARTNERS, CHICAGO
More than 9,000 attendees mingled, dined and feasted their eyes on more than 1,000 new vehicles in 900,000 square feet of space at the “Chicago Auto Show First Look for Charity Gala.” The event had a “Route 66” theme and a menu featuring regional cuisine including California-style sushi, chicken-stuffed ravioli with cognac-tomato cream, and Kansas City barbecue pork skewers.
14. HARITH PRODUCTIONS, WILLOW GROVE, PA., AND HILTON REYKJAVIK NORDICA, REYKJAVIK, ICELAND
Against the backdrop of the Scandinavian country's unprecedented economic collapse, the event team forged ahead with this multi-day President's Club incentive event in Iceland. The event included a Viking-theme reception and the “A Country of Contrast” awards dinner, which stressed Icelandic foods from seafood to fresh vegetables to the “glacier” themed dessert: blueberry sorbet and blueberry compote served on an ice block.
15. RADISSON PAPER VALLEY HOTEL, APPLETON, WIS.
Temperatures plummeted to 10 degrees below zero on the night of the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center's “Wonderfully Wicked” opening night gala and fundraiser. But the culinary and service staff rose to the occasion, delighting guests with glow-in-the-dark spoons, “waves” of shrimp skewers with limes, and other tantalizing bites that picked up on the color scheme of the Emerald City, featured in the hit Broadway show.
BEST FUNDRAISING EVENT
16. CATALINA ISLAND CONSERVANCY, LONG BEACH, CALIF.
In Santa Catalina [Calif.] Island's historic Avalon Casino Ballroom, 334 guests attended the “Take a Hike! Celebrating the Completion of the Trans-Catalina Trail” 14th Annual Conservancy Ball. The event's decor had a “rough-luxe” look, with centerpieces featuring rocks, wooden trail markers and miniature camping tents, and a color scheme of espresso, saffron, loden, copper and merlot. The event grossed more than $367,500 yet came in 25 percent under budget.
17. GEM EVENTS, VIENNA, VA.
The elements fire, earth, water and air inspired decor, food and entertainment at “The Elements of Surprise” 2008 Builders' Ball. Symbolic components included “flipped” cocktails prepared in mid-air by “bouncing bartenders” (air) and cascading waterfalls (water). A sustainable fashion show featuring creations made from building materials delighted guests, whose generosity yielded $300,000 in net proceeds — a record for the annual event.
18. MGM MIRAGE EVENTS, LAS VEGAS, AND KEEP MEMORY ALIVE, LAS VEGAS
The final performance of legendary Las Vegas performers Siegfried & Roy was the centerpiece of the “Keep Memory Alive” gala. MGM MIRAGE Events partnered with the performance team and its support staff to construct an elaborate stage inside a ballroom at the Bellagio, then struck it immediately following the gala. Along with the performance itself, the event — which raised more than $12 million — featured displays of the performers' original costumes.
BEST EVENT PRODUCED FOR A NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION
19. EVENT CREATIVE, CHICAGO
In 100,000 square feet of tenting on an airfield at O'Hare International Airport, guests supported local Chicago children's charity After School Matters to the tune of $3.5 million. Teenagers who have benefited from the organization's programs lent their creativity to the event, producing 250 illuminated centerpieces and performing choreographed dance routines, theatrical scenes and musical numbers.
20. JESS FLOOD EVENT DESIGN, SANTA ROSA, CALIF.
When Jess Flood Event Design started working on the Leakey Foundation's “Leakey Prize Gala,” the event's venue — San Francisco's brand-new California Academy of Sciences — was still in the building stage. Working with fluctuating floor plans, a lack of event history, and the possibility that protesters would disrupt the event (Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was scheduled to address guests), the team had only 75 minutes to set up the gala — the first-ever Leakey Gala to report a net financial gain.
21. LOYOLA UNIVERSITY CHICAGO, CHICAGO
To kick off its largest-ever fund-raising campaign, Loyola University Chicago built a tented event from scratch in a recently purchased parking lot next to its downtown campus. The garden-theme reception tent — which contained 24 trees of five varieties, 28 varieties of shrubs and bushes, 550 square feet of sod and 70 tons of crushed granite — required a 10-day setup to complete.
BEST WEDDING: BUDGET UNDER $1,000 PER GUEST
22. ABOUT LAST NIGHT … EVENT PLANNING, OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA.
At a prestigious Oklahoma City country club, 233 guests gathered for the wedding of a Brooklyn, N.Y., groom and hometown bride, both of Irish descent. From the framed seating chart bearing a faint watermark of the country of Ireland, to the Celtic-knot gobo on the dance floor, to the custom-made Celtic-knot-embellished napkins, an Irish motif subtly marked the festivities.
23. EVENTS OF DISTINCTION, SAN FRANCISCO
For the Lake Tahoe, Calif., wedding of a couple who met snowboarding in the Sierra Nevada locale, Events of Distinction designed a ceremony and reception that took advantage of the area's spectacular natural beauty. After watching the couple wed on the lakeshore between columns of aspen branches, sunflowers and burgundy dahlias, guests picked up “lift ticket” place cards to determine where they'd sit for a sumptuous three-course feast.
24. YOUR GREAT EVENT, GLENDALE, CALIF.
Los Angeles' Dodger Stadium was the perfect setting for a wedding whose 425 guests included hundreds of die-hard baseball fans. To protect the baseball field, the crew carefully laid temporary flooring over the natural grass, covered it in carpeting and surrounded the open-air outfield reception area with roped stanchions. Guests enjoyed dancing, pyrotechnics and a meal of “Dodger Dogs” and champagne.
BEST WEDDING: BUDGET $1,000 AND ABOVE PER GUEST
25. EVENTS OF DISTINCTION, SAN FRANCISCO
Designed around the couple's international background and gourmet tastes, and held at a historic Tudor mansion, this “Spice of Life”-theme wedding kicked off with a “blending of the spices” — his, paprika, hers, turmeric — ceremony ritual. Afterward, guests enjoyed Spanish tapas at a cocktail hour dominated by shades of orange and red before heading to a dinner reception done up in plum, copper, tangerine and shades of green.
26. PUTTIN' ON THE RIZZ, DENVER
A brand-new 37,000-square-foot home that was still under construction during the early stages of wedding planning served as the site for this blue-hued celebration. To create the event's dance floor, the production team covered an Olympic-size swimming pool with blue plexiglass. After indulging in a feast from Denver's Epicurean Catering, guests enjoyed a display of spectacular blue fireworks.
27. XENA PRODUCTIONS, DUBLIN, IRELAND
On the vineyard grounds of the wedding couple's chateau in Bordeaux, France, 260 guests gathered for a celebration that blended traditional Irish and distinctly French elements. After a ceremony at a local 13th century Catholic church, guests enjoyed French canapés and cocktails to the sounds of a string quartet playing Irish music. Dinner took place in a clear-sided tent overlooking the vineyards, and featured gray-taffeta-covered tables named for grapes used in French winemaking, and French-style food made with traditional Irish ingredients.
BEST MULTIPLE-DAY INCENTIVE EVENT
28. AFILIAS, HORSHAM, PA
Hurricane Omar forced the relocation of the 2009 Afilias Retreat from the Four Seasons Nevis, West Indies, to the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Fla., less than four weeks before the event's scheduled start date. At the new location, 90 guests gathered for a five-day program that included a catamaran excursion, beach party, golf and spouse activities such as yoga, and a private cooking class.
29. EVENT ARCHITECTS, CHICAGO
A two-week customized Mediterranean cruise for employees of Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Productions, “The Trip of a Lifetime” was just that. The 1,700-guest voyage began in Rockford, Ill., with chartered commercial flights to Barcelona, Spain, proceeded to a luxurious Norwegian Cruise Lines ocean liner and included port-of-call stops in Rome, Sicily, Athens and Istanbul before returning to Spain.
30. HARITH PRODUCTIONS, WILLOW GROVE, PA., AND DESIGNS BY SEAN, DANIA, FLA.
Against the backdrop of the Scandinavian country's unprecedented economic collapse, this multi-day President's Club incentive event in Reykjavik, Iceland, called upon the talents of SITE- and ISES-member vendors. The event included a Viking-theme reception, a Jeep tour of Iceland's glaciers and the “A Country of Contrast” awards dinner with a slide show of Iceland's geysers, waterfalls, lava formations and thermal pools.
BEST MULTIPLE-DAY EVENT PROGRAM FOR A CORPORATION OR ASSOCIATION
31. BARKLEY KALPAK ASSOCIATES, NEW YORK
For the Intelligent Transportation Society's World Congress at New York's Javits Center, Barkley Kalpak designed and produced showcase elements and handled branding messages for everyone from car manufacturers to government agencies. Elements included a custom-car-show welcome event for 10,000 attendees and live vehicle demonstrations on Manhattan streets.
32. EXTRAORDINARY EVENTS, SHERMAN OAKS, CALIF.
For a three-day “ride and drive” program — a press launch for BMW — the team located an intimate, luxurious hotel with a courtyard capable of displaying 25 vehicles, created a “BMW showroom” in a steel-and-glass tent at a nearby racetrack, and branded everything from registration tables to golf carts. Among its many challenges, the team had to build a temporary automotive maintenance structure that needed to be operational 24/7 for 30 days straight, without disrupting residential neighbors in the event's upscale location.
33. METHOD 42 PRODUCTIONS, SAN JOSE, CALIF.
Disney Pixar's five-day press junket for the animated feature film “Up” transported press members via “Wilderness Explorer” bus to the Pixar campus in Emeryville, Calif. There they encountered the 20-foot-high “Paradise Falls” — a re-creation of one of the movie's locations, which featured plummeting streams of water, lush tropical foliage and a miniature, remote-controlled flying replica of the film protagonist's house.
BEST EVENT STAGED IN MULTIPLE LOCATIONS
34. INVENTA, VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA
The BC Lottery Corp.'s BCLC 2010 Winter Games Dome traveled to 13 British Columbia communities between May and September to spread the Olympic and Paralympic spirit and increase awareness of BCLC's sponsorship of the games. In a custom 5,500-square-foot, four-domed tent structure, visitors could take shots at sensor-board hockey nets and try out virtual skiing. More than 87,000 people visited the tent and participated in 148,000 interactions, each averaging 12 minutes of branded engagement.
35. PLEON EVENT & SPONSORING, BONN, GERMANY
For the InteractiveMedia Road Show 2009, Pleon created a link between InteractiveMedia products and the arts in a series of settings from a hip Hamburg hair salon to a Dusseldorf art and exhibition center. Instead of PowerPoint presentations, attendees learned about products through live art performances and video installations by up-and-coming artists “interpreting” the products.
36. THE COMPANIES/THE EVENT CO., MUNICH, GERMANY
German eyeglass-maker Rodenstock's “Larger Than Life” dealer road show brought 12 events to 6,000 opticians across Germany. The centerpiece of the traveling event was a 40-foot-wide, 12-foot-tall pair of glasses with two 46-foot-long earpieces — a sculptural element that dominated every location. The “world's largest pair of glasses” wasn't just a piece of decor — its earpieces provided the shape for an auditorium area, while the lenses acted as screens for animated product presentations.
BEST FLORAL DESIGN
37. JOHN CREAGER WEDDINGS, SAN DIEGO
To transform an austere ballroom into a tropical setting for a summer wedding in the Colorado Rockies, the design staff created a canopy over the dance floor using a welded truss system and plastic hog wire panels covered in Southern smilax with sprays of white phalaenopsis orchids and dangling votive holders. Centerpieces centered on “conceptual” palm trees built out of wrought-iron poles topped with palm foliage and twinkle lights.
38. NEWBERRY BROS., DENVER
In the Seawell Ballroom at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, the design team created a “gold and green” floral landscape for its clients — a wedding couple with a passion for nature. On the ballroom's round tables, centerpieces featured arrangements of white hydrangeas, calla lilies, stock and curly willow, encircled with a gold grape wreath.
39. SOMETHING NEW EVENTS, CANFIELD, OHIO
For a lavish wedding with a butterfly theme, Something New created a dining riser for the bride and groom, outfitted with a 14-by-14-foot frame covered with roses, hydrangeas and peonies in shades of lavender, purple, pink and cream. For the couple's sweetheart table, the design team cut the tablecloth into four pieces, glued hundreds of rose, peony and hydrangea petals to the cloth, then connected the sections into one continuous piece.
BEST TENT INSTALLATION
40. CLASSIC TENTS, LOS ANGELES
For the PGA's 37th Ryder Cup at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky., Classic Party Rentals installed more than 400,000 square feet of structures, tents, pavilions, canopies and walkways. These included 62 tents in five separate “villages,” and a 24,610-square-foot tent for the event's 1,051-guest black-tie gala. Installation and strike took place over a 105-day period.
41. PLEON EVENT & SPONSORING, BONN, GERMANY
Pleon imported its main structure — a former Airbus aircraft hangar — from Belgium for the 250th anniversary of a German engineering company. The structure, with a 56-foot-high gable and unobstructed side views, is reportedly the world's tallest cantilever tent of its kind.
42. REGAL TENT PRODUCTIONS, STONEY CREEK, ONTARIO
Regal Tent Productions traveled to Montreal to provide 60,000 square feet of tenting for the 2009 National Hockey League All-Star Game. One of the tents, a 40,000-square-foot structure divided into two halves — one black, one white — featured the Hockey Hall of Fame along with a store, an ice rink and multiple media broadcast outlets.
BEST LIGHTING DESIGN
43. DIGITAL LIGHTNING, KENSINGTON, MD.
In a massive 100-by-300-foot tent on the lawn of a private estate, Digital Lightning provided lighting for four different events over the course of a multi-day Indian wedding celebration. Highlights included the use of intelligent lighting to bounce light off the ceiling and light the pillow and rug areas on the floor for a morning prayer service, and a soft lavender ceiling wash and jewel-tone uplighting for the 700-guest ceremony luncheon.
44. EYE DIALOGUE, CHARLOTTE, N.C.
The nonprofit Carolina Breast Friends “Oysters on the Lawn” event took place in a 10,000-square-foot clear-top tent; Eye Dialogue lit the tent with old-fashioned strands of bulbs, pin-spotted the silent auction, and illuminated the tent's four entrances. The highlight was a “pink house” structure where color-changing LED tape transformed an underlying plexiglass frame into a brilliant pink focal point.
45. MOHEGAN SUN, UNCASVILLE, CONN.
For a corporate client's “Rat Pack New Year's Eve Celebration” at the Mohegan Sun casino, the lighting team used 800 A-lamps and 1,000 feet of flexible neon rope lighting to create hotel façades of the past in the “Vegas Strip”-theme pre-function space. To create the illusion of a low ceiling and intimate lounge space in the site's main ballroom, the crew installed 24 1960s-style chandeliers.
BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN TECHNICAL SUPPORT
46. AGGREKO, HOUSTON
In the midst of a massive District of Columbia police force, along with 1,000 FBI agents and a Secret Service counter-sniper team, the Aggreko crew loaded in, set up and operated temporary power and heating systems for the January 2009 inauguration of U.S. President Barack Obama. To complete the feat and avoid supply delays, Houston-based Aggreko had to set up a temporary supply depot directly outside D.C. city limits.
47. GLOBAL EVENTS CORP., MADRID
To celebrate its own 10-year anniversary, Global Events staged an elaborate show for two nights at the Madrid Sports Palladium. For the event, the team divided the space into two main sections — the “lagoon” and the “sky” — and had to reinforce the venue's ceiling to ensure it could bear the weight of more than 40 tons of flown materials. For one portion of the show, a platform holding a 36-member orchestra string section descended from the ceiling.
48. RICHTER SCALE PRODUCTIONS, DENVER
Three days of prepping and loading, a day and a half of driving and a full day of setup preceded this biotechnology client's 275-guest “Conference in the Round.” The idea for the “in the round” layout came from Richter Scale, which installed a 17-foot circular stage and a 20-foot circular truss to hold loudspeakers, video projectors, and both LED and moving lights, along with rigging to accommodate cirque-style aerial performers at the closing-night awards dinner and party.
BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN LOGISTICS
49. EdgPRODUCTIONS, EDEN PRAIRIE, MINN.
The scope of work for the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul encompassed 14 events in 10 locations over a span of four days. The project included such challenges as the transformation of a section of basement storage room into functional event space, and the conversion of a local college bar into a venue for a national act, complete with a freestanding stage and lighting rig.
50. ES GROUP LTD., LONDON
An international traveling museum, Chanel Mobile Art was the largest temporary structure ever built in New York's Central Park. With 28 days for installation (and 14 days for strike), ES Group constructed the pavilion's outer shell from more than 700 individual parts. Special logistical arrangements included organizing the sea freighting of 77-by-40-foot containers via slow vessels from Japan to New York to avoid port storage costs.
51. VOK DAMS GROUP, WUPPERTAL, GERMANY
For the “Yeti Expedition 2009” launch of the new Skoda Yeti SUV, Vok Dams created an interactive two-day “story,” which involved 4,500 auto dealers divided into 15 groups. At an Austrian mountaintop hotel, guests watched through a glass wall as Yeti (Abominable Snowman) footprints appeared on the mountainside — an effect created with banners choreographed to unfold on cue. Guests ascended the mountain by cable car to a tent structure designed to look like an ice cave; there they enjoyed music, an ice bar and fire jugglers.
BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN EVENT RENTAL SUPPORT
52. CLASSIC TENTS, CHICAGO
Along with 241,149 square feet of tenting, Classic provided 83,000 square feet of plywood flooring, 4,500 square feet of red carpet, 1,783 tables of different sizes and 8,035 chairs in 10 different styles, among other items, for the 2009 Kentucky Derby Festival. The installation took four weeks, while removal took two weeks, with crews ranging from a minimum of 12 people to a maximum of 60 people per day. Among challenges was the fact that Classic had four major clients, each requiring different equipment and services over the course of the Derby celebration.
53. CLASSIC PARTY RENTALS, SAN FRANCISCO
For 2009's “Pebble Beach Food & Wine,” a four-day epicurean extravaganza in exclusive Pebble Beach, Calif., Classic provided 76,000 square feet of high-end tent structures, with tents ranging from 10 to 100 feet wide and from 10 to 220 feet long. The company also installed sidewalls, glass doors, rain gutters, heaters, generators, lighting, power, flooring and stanchions, along with Velon draping, custom swagging and skirting.
54. TOWN AND COUNTRY EVENT RENTALS, VAN NUYS, CALIF.
Tasked with creating a destination-wedding atmosphere on a public beach on Catalina Island, Calif., Town and Country planned the install, organized permits, loaded barges and set up the location with only two months of lead time. Rental elements included custom-made cabanas, custom-made chandeliers and two tents with different site elevations, connected 18 feet above ground.
BEST NEW, INNOVATIVE EVENT PRODUCT/TECHNOLOGY
55. CREATIVE JUICE GROUP, CONSHOHOCKEN, PA.
After meeting with a winery sommelier to confirm that fountain-pumped wine would maintain its integrity, Creative Juice Group created the Living Bar. The bar utilizes pumps and hoses concealed beneath a server's costume to create the illusion that a beverage is pouring from the server's fingertips into a guest's waiting glass.
56. KINDLE LIVING, LOS ANGELES
Kindle Living's product is a sculptural, functional shell that conceals a traditional outdoor patio heater. The 50-pound unit — available in alabaster and onyx, as well as a rainbow of custom colors — is made of durable UV-protected composite materials; it is 100-percent recyclable.
57. VELON DESIGNS, SAN FRANCISCO
Printable plastic-film Crystal Velon clings to almost any flat, nonporous surface, including glass, plastic and acrylic. The product does not require adhesives, leaves no residue, is made from recycled plastic and is 100-percent recyclable.
BEST EVENT ENTERTAINMENT CONCEPT AND EXECUTION: ENTERTAINMENT BUDGET UNDER $100,000
58. BRAVO PRODUCTIONS ENTERTAINMENT, DALLAS, AND THE SPECIAL EVENT CO., DURHAM, N.C.
Taking its theme from the Carolinas' thriving arts culture, a conference finale event in Raleigh, N.C., featured representations of Carolinian historical eras played out in modern performance vignettes. Acts included The Pitchforks, a local amateur a cappella group doing its rendition of James Taylor's “Carolina in My Mind,” and a live performance by the Grammy-winning Red Clay Ramblers, who provided upbeat “mountain music” while 35 Carolina Ballet dancers performed original choreography. The entertainment closed with four curtain calls and a standing ovation from the audience of 550.
59. CREATIVE JUICE GROUP, CONSHOHOCKEN, PA.
At a Prohibition-theme fundraiser, the entertainment highlight was the “Bootleggin' Bettys” bar, where flirtatious flappers positioned on risers of varying heights served “Bees Knees” cocktails and other themed drinks. The “Bettys” disappeared, then reappeared in cigar-girl costumes, handing out hand-rolled stogies and selling tickets for the event's highly anticipated raffle.
60. ECLECTIC EVENTS INTERNATIONAL, TORONTO
At an employee-appreciation event for client Honda, Eclectic Events combined Canadian and American entertainment. Performances included a Japanese koto ensemble, a pulse-pounding show from Canada's leading taiko drumming group, and the U.S.-based Three Painters, who transformed blank canvases into paintings of pop and rock idols before creating a painted tribute to the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team and a Honda-themed mural.
BEST EVENT ENTERTAINMENT CONCEPT AND EXECUTION: ENTERTAINMENT BUDGET $100,000 AND ABOVE
61. BRAVO PRODUCTIONS ENTERTAINMENT, DALLAS, AND IN GOOD COMPANY, SAN RAMON, CALIF.
A medical group meeting in Florida enjoyed the “Hot Hot Hot Americas” event — a Latin-American experiential dinner. The first course combined Mexican Sangrado Maria cocktails and lump-crab timbales with a performance by authentic Mexican folk dancers, while a second course blended Brazilian caipirinhas and roasted vegetable salad with Carnaval-style showgirls and a Capoeira martial-arts display. The entertainment came full circle with a South Beach-theme finale featuring drag performers doing the Pussycat Dolls' hit “Don't Cha.”
62. CURRENT AFFAIRS, HONOLULU
The entertainment for this 1,200-attendee corporate dinner at the Hawaii Convention Center took its theme from 1950s Hawaii. An assortment of 75 entertainers included exotic percussionists, a 20-year-old ukulele virtuoso, an award-winning traditional Hawaiian vocalist and an ensemble of triplets playing violin and singing.
63. VOK DAMS GROUP, WUPPERTAL, GERMANY
For a PUMA event at the Football Alliance Meeting 2010 in Rome, Vok Dams immersed guests in the world of PUMA Raw Football — a theme based on the key concepts “king,” “power” and “speed.” Highlights included a four-act fashion show featuring dancers functioning as living projection screens upon which African animals, gladiators and 2006 World Cup images played.
MOST OUTSTANDING SPECTACLE
64. JHE PRODUCTION GROUP, HARRISBURG, N.C.
The 2009 NASCAR Spring All-Star Challenge pre-race show raised crowd excitement while raising the profile of the new Sprint Palm Pre mobile device. The show, enjoyed live by the 120,000 fans, included a live band playing rock-and-roll “entrance themes” for 200 featured NASCAR drivers, custom-produced video animation and a pyrotechnics demonstration.
65. JOHN DONNELLY & ASSOCIATES, VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA
The 2009 World Police & Fire Games attracted more than 10,500 police, fire, customs and corrections officers from 57 countries around the world. At the event's Opening Ceremonies at General Motors Place in Vancouver, attendees witnessed aerial silk performers, acrobats, stilt walkers, hand drummers and more than 60 cultural dancers representing the Games' participating nations.
BEST EVENT PRODUCED FOR A PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL: BUDGET UNDER $1,000 PER GUEST
66. EVE EVENTS, MINNEAPOLIS
Guests arriving at this 16th birthday celebration found no signs of a party at first, just a nondescript warehouse with a bouncer stationed by the back door. Inside, attendees encountered an edgy, ultra-chic New York City nightclub environment, complete with packed dance floor, music videos on LED screens, color-washed brick walls and a bar backed by a five-panel graffiti mural.
67. EVENTS OF DISTINCTION, SAN FRANCISCO
Twenty-five years after eloping to Reno, Nev., Events of Distinction's clients celebrated their anniversary with a real — and really big — wedding. After saying their vows at a traditional Catholic mass, the couple joined 235 guests for a cocktail reception inside a 3,000-square-foot tent, decorated with white tufted lounge banquettes, aluminum “bubble” tables and massive white urns holding dazzling coral peonies, followed by a seated dinner.
68. EXPERIENTIAL EVENTS, CALGARY, ALBERTA
A three-part 50th birthday celebration for a high-profile telecommunications executive included the “Embrace Your Inner Chef” cooking class, where guests prepared items including crepes with smoked salmon and puff-pastry pizza; the second event was a restaurant-buyout dinner. The “Alchemy” event celebrated the summer solstice and included an oyster bar, a cold tea bar, photo-strip booths, airbrush tattoos and all-night dancing.
BEST EVENT FOR A PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL: BUDGET $1,000 AND ABOVE PER GUEST
69. PLAN-IT PARTIES, NORTH POTOMAC, MD.
This 250-guest bat mitzvah party took its theme from one of the guest of honor's favorite films, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” In the main ballroom, custom tabletops resembled candy pieces, centerpieces combined prop and real candy, and an elevated custom plexiglass dance floor featured transparent candy stickers on each underlit tile.
70. ROGERS AND GALA CREATIVE PARTNERS, CHARLOTTE, N.C.
Guests at this bat mitzvah for a fashion-loving 'tween first made their way down a hallway filled with graffiti, break-dancers, food vendors, crowds and the sounds of traffic and music. They met “designers” including Karl Lagerfeld, Donatella Versace and the bat mitzvah girl's favorite, Betsey Johnson, and enjoyed a fashion show, a South Beach taco bar, Jolly Rancher “mocktinis” and pink marshmallow s'mores.
71. SAVE THE DATE, POTOMAC, MD.
For a bar mitzvah party with a music motif, Save the Date created a multitude of tents, each with its own unique music theme. In the main tent, where rock and roll ruled, young guests sat at metal high-top tables and watched pro skateboarders perform on a half-pipe before enjoying hand-churned ice cream and gourmet chocolates.
BEST EVENT MARKETING CAMPAIGN
72. INVENTA, VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA
The BC Lottery Corp.'s BCLC 2010 Winter Games Dome traveled to 13 British Columbia communities between May and September to spread the Olympic and Paralympic spirit and increase awareness of BCLC's sponsorship of the games. In a custom 5,500-square-foot, four-domed tent structure, visitors could try out virtual skiing and fire a Laser Shot rifle at digital targets. Ninety-four percent of visitors surveyed afterward understood they could win tickets to the Olympics through BCLC's SportsFunder lottery.
730 SERVICEPLAN BRANDEVENT & CO., MUNICH, GERMANY
To promote its new Walkman mobile phone to young consumers at the MTV Europe Music Awards, event sponsor Sony Ericsson gave 100 music fans a chance to walk nearly 240 miles from London to Liverpool to attend the show. To compete for a chance to participate, applicants uploaded self-promotional photos and videos to a custom Web site; the public voted for its favorites. The 10-day FanWalk was broadcast in 20 “Webisodes,” and walkers filled blogs with photos and videos via Walkman phone along the way.
74. THE COMPANIES/THE EVENT CO., MUNICH, GERMANY
A larger-than-life sculpture of a pair of glasses served as the focal point for eyewear-manufacturer Rodenstock's event marketing campaign. At 12 events in 11 German cities, the glasses served as decoration, room partition and auditorium, making the most of a limited budget.
BEST THEATRICAL ENTERTAINMENT PRODUCTION
75. GLOBAL EVENTS CORP., MADRID
What started out as a PR enterprise to celebrate an event agency's 10th anniversary ended up as a musical extravaganza staged at Madrid's biggest sports facility, and open to the public. The story unfolded in 18 acts, and included aerial dance, classical ballet, acrobatics, water cannons, lasers, pyrotechnics, symphonic orchestra and full choir.
76. INDEX EVENT AGENCY, BANGKOK, THAILAND
For client Thai Life Insurance's awards ceremony, Index created a custom stage performance based on employee input generated through an internal communications campaign. The show, whose title translates into “Music of Glory,” featured well-known Thai performers acting out the achievements of honored staff members through dialogue, song and dance.
77. LUMINOUS, HONG KONG
A launch event for the new Audi Q5 SUV at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre treated 1,300 attendees to a showcase of the vehicle's versatility through high-energy music and dance. The production included imagery of Hong Kong's skyline and streetscapes, dancers performing onstage with the cars, and Taiwanese actor Chang Chen from the film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.”
BEST DECOR: TOTAL DECOR BUDGET UNDER $20,000
78. A JOY WALLACE CATERING PRODUCTION & DESIGN TEAM, MIAMIZ
For a bat mitzvah celebration with a Parisian theme, the design crew transformed a private home's backyard into the “City of Light.” Decorated stations included a French bistro with a working glass door, the famed Fauchon Bakery, serving French pasties, and jeweler Cartier, displaying the season's newest pearl and diamond pieces
79. E=MC2 EVENT MANAGEMENT, CALGARY, ALBERTA
At a grand-opening event for a luxury automobile dealership, the design team used decor to showcase vehicle brands Bentley, Aston Martin and Spyker. The Aston Martin showroom featured clear Ghost chairs, silver-edged transparent tables and centerpieces of white lilies, bow ties and faux diamonds; the Bentley showroom offered dark wood tables, chestnut-brown leather chairs and understated yellow- and orange-floral centerpieces accented with wood and wine decanters.
80. USA HOSTS, NEW ORLEANS, AND NEW ORLEANS MARRIOTT, NEW ORLEANS
Working with the theme “A Winter's Solstice,” the event team created a festive holiday welcome for 52 guests at the New Orleans Museum of Art. Guests arrived in historic carriages outfitted with custom-logo winter blankets, and found gobo projections and icy blue LED uplights in the museum's foyer. Decor elements included acrylic, glass and platinum-sprayed branch accents, touches of blue water and “snow.”
BEST DECOR: TOTAL DECOR BUDGET $20,000-$49,999
81. CARAVENTS, INC., BEVERLY HILLS, CALIF.
The 2009 “InStyle Magazine” Golden Globes Suites at the Four Seasons Hotel, Beverly Hills, featured a palette of platinum, eggplant and ivory. Advertisers displayed their products at tables covered with fitted suede linen; jewelry participants had white tufted club chairs and silver square coffee tables, while the “accessory room” featured clear Ghost chairs, acrylic waterfall coffee tables and white suede ottomans with lilac and aubergine pillows.
82. METHOD 42 PRODUCTIONS, SAN JOSE, CALIF.
The decor for the “Una Notte D'Amore” medical center fundraiser, a lavish masquerade ball, took its inspiration from 16th century Venice and Versailles. In the main event space, beneath a white satin canopy decorated with gold fleurs de lis, hung a massive chandelier featuring marabou feathers and 6-foot-tall masquerade masks.
83. VANGARD INC., TACOMA, WASH.
Tasked with creating a chic urban environment that captivated all five senses and adhered to ecologically sound production principles, the design team used replantable live plants in glass vitrines instead of cut flowers, and glass, wood and stone rather than plastic wherever possible for an event for international Microsoft CEOs. Designers topped tables with twisted taffeta cloths resembling tree bark, and used LED lighting in sunset colors to create a feeling of warmth.
BEST DECOR: TOTAL DECOR BUDGET $50,000 TO $150,000
84. A LEGENDARY EVENT, ATLANTA
The nature-inspired decor for this June wedding started with the ceremony, where the couple wed beneath a wrought-iron chuppah completely covered in green foliage and accented with lichen-laden branches, spray roses, and white and green hydrangea. At the hotel reception, guests found their escort cards on six-foot tables topped by wood trays filled with river pebbles illuminated by votive candles.
85. ALL OCCASIONS EVENT PRODUCTIONS, LEXINGTON, KY.
At an event designed to showcase a Lexington, Ky., farm's thoroughbred stallions while reinforcing the farm's modern image, the designers used a series of high-peak tents and a blue color palette. Elements included an electric-blue custom bar, breeze-blown mesh banners printed with horse images, and outdoor lounge furniture with blue accent pieces.
86. AOO EVENTS, LOS ANGELES
On a terrace at the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego, this product launch took its design cues from the product logo's pink, orange, brown and gray circles. Working with a base color of white, the designers used white suede furniture groupings on white rugs, accented with gray fabrics, and matching bars with suspended mirrors, all illuminated by hot pink and orange LED lights and circle gobos. Overhead, light strings featured hand-dipped pink and orange bulbs.
BEST DECOR: TOTAL DECOR BUDGET ABOVE $150,000
87. MGM MIRAGE EVENTS, LAS VEGAS
The “Concerto” New Year's Eve event invited 1,800 international guests to party in a 17,000-seat venue more commonly known for staging rock concerts and heavyweight boxing matches. The design team took its cues from the music and persona of the night's headline performer, vocalist Sarah Brightman, and transformed the space with earthy, natural elements including rough-hewn tree stumps, forest-inspired floral centerpieces and metallic-gold table linen.
88. SOMETHING NEW EVENTS, CANFIELD, OHIO
For the bat mitzvah of an aspiring fashion designer, the Something New team created a runway-show environment using the guest of honor's own original sketches as decor highlights. Other elements included spool-and-button-themed high-top tables; hors d'oeuvre stations accented with zippers, pincushions and thimbles; and a bar built from closet organizers and the mitzvah girl's own dresser drawers, filled with her clothes and accessories. The dining room was hung with 2,000 Chinese lanterns.
89. SYZYGY EVENT PRODUCTIONS, GAITHERSBURG, MD.
It took six months, more than 40 gallons of paint and four warehouses filled with massive props to create this “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” bat mitzvah celebration for 250 guests. Highlights included 10-foot-tall “pop-up book” trees decorated with giant candies and forest creatures, hand-painted murals of a fantasy “Willy Wonka” land, and a 200-gallon chocolate pond edged with giant mushrooms and flowers.
BEST EVENT PRODUCED FOR A CORPORATION OR ASSOCIATION: OVERALL BUDGET UNDER $100,000
90. ELIAS EVENTS, HOUSTON
More than 700 guests gathered for the fashion show-theme launch of “The Social Book,” a compendium of fundraising events and producers. Along with a fashion show staged on two custom-built V-shaped runways, guests enjoyed sushi, oysters and shrimp, along with “social-tini” cocktails in flavors including green apple, lemon and blue curaçao.
91. JUNG VON MATT/RELATIONS GMBH, COLOGNE, GERMANY
To raise awareness for the Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the producers staged “the biggest concert in the world,” positioning 100 musicians in 50 public locations around Hamburg, Germany. A local television station transmitted footage of the orchestra's conductor, whose directions each of the musicians followed via TV screens equipped with DVTB antennas. An event Web site that broadcast the concert received 100,000 hits.
92. TOTAL EVENT RESOURCES, SCHAUMBURG, ILL.
At an annual trade show, the “Batter Up” experiential team-building activity used baseball to communicate suppliers' key points to clients in a fun, competitive environment. Through a series of “innings,” teams then made their way around the trade show floor, where they learned key points at each supplier's booth, then received Hit Cards that were later tallied, while ballpark songs and broadcast patter filled the room.
BEST EVENT PRODUCED FOR A CORPORATION OR ASSOCIATION: OVERALL BUDGET $100,000 TO $249,999
93. CONSIDER IT DONE PRODUCTIONS, CALGARY, ALBERTA
The annual Calgary Real Estate Board President's Gala MLS Awards featured a “Dancing With Our Stars” theme, in a nod to the wildly popular television show. Following the awards presentation, the 270 attendees visited the “CREB Constellation Club Lounge,” complete with crystal curtains and white leather lounge seating. From there, guests proceeded to the convention center's grand hall, where they enjoyed dinner followed by a performance that paired pre-selected attendees with professional dancers doing choreographed swing, bolero and Bollywood numbers.
94. LABATT FOOD SERVICE, SAN ANTONIO
The “Fiesta de Gracias” gala, an employee-customer dinner dance, presented each of Labatt's offices as separate food stations representative of the offices' different Texas locations. Guests carried road-map menus as they made their way through custom-made Texas ranch gates and into a room filled with stations including Corpus Christi, featuring seafood served from a beach-theme vignette, and Lubbock, offering bison and quail amid decor including a 10-foot-tall windmill.
95. WELCOME EVENT MARKETING, COPENHAGEN, DENMARK
The “Alpha Take Off” launch event communicated Danish circulator-pump manufacturer Grundfos' “Powered by The Impossible” brand message to a North American audience in a dynamic event at the Airline History Museum in Kansas City, Mo. The event included a product presentation that incorporated flash animation and an interactive question-and-answer session, followed by a marketing campaign presentation that culminated in the 3D effect of a truck crashing through the venue wall.
BEST EVENT PRODUCED FOR A CORPORATION OR ASSOCIATION: OVERALL BUDGET $250,000 TO $500,000
96. EUROEVENTS LTD., DUBLIN, IRELAND
This launch event for the BMW 7 Series, staged in the penthouses and rooftop garden of a new building in Dublin's affluent Grand Canal Basin, introduced the new vehicle to its target audience while ensuring its exposure to a wider public. The event first brought guests to a 15th floor showroom to learn about the car's new technology features through interactive booths. In a custom-built rooftop showroom, guests enjoyed views of both the new vehicle and of Dublin City, while indulging in a seven-course tasting menu from Michelin-star chef Dylan McGrath.
97. EXTRAORDINARY EVENTS, SHERMAN OAKS, CALIF.
To engineer a hospitality event for BMW in conjunction with the automaker's presence at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the production team selected a contemporary private estate atop the Santa Monica Mountains in Malibu, Calif. The event had no theme, no entertainment, no decor and only minimal floral — just a showcase of vehicles, along with architecturally presented food. Surplus food was donated to a battered women's shelter after the event, as per the client's request.
98. INSGLUCK GESELLSCHAFT FUR MARKENINSZENIERUNG, BERLIN, GERMANY
The opening for the 2009 CeBIT digital IT and telecommunications trade show in Hanover, Germany, addressed current issues in the IT field while providing an exhilarating stage for renowned speakers and, at the same time, incorporating 2009 partner state California. The central focus was the “Webciety,” represented through a live performance of more than 40 brief scenes showcasing residents of the “global village” demonstrating the impact of the Web on life today. The event generated 68 hours of television coverage, 1,300 radio mentions and 34,000 print and online press mentions.
BEST EVENT PRODUCED FOR A CORPORATION OR ASSOCIATION: OVERALL BUDGET ABOVE $500,000
99. INSGLUCK GESELLSCHAFT FUR MARKENINSZENIERUNG, BERLIN, GERMANY
At Berlin's famous Brandenburg Gate, the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics Welcome Night event keyed on a dramatic production that linked the history of the city with the excitement of athletics and the international import of the pending games. The evening began with a medley of well-known songs about Berlin accompanying projections of periods from the city's history, which segued into speeches by the mayor of Berlin and the president of the IAAF. Other segments presented acrobats, dancers and athletes, giant stick puppets, a flag-bearer parade and a headline performance by Norwegian pop band A-ha.
100. MANA, ALLISON & ASSOCIATES, SAN FRANCISCO
For a 750-guest corporate anniversary celebration, the producers transformed the rotunda and mezzanine of San Francisco City Hall with high and low cocktail tables, silver chiavaris and lavish floral centerpieces. After cocktails, guests made their way to a blue carpet that led them across the street to an 80-by-220-foot clear-span tent on the grounds of Civic Center Plaza. There, guests enjoyed a four-course dinner served with California wines, followed by dancing.
101. VOK DAMS GROUP, WUPPERTAL, GERMANY
For the “Yeti Expedition 2009” launch of the new Skoda Yeti SUV, Vok Dams created an interactive two-day “story” involving 4,500 automobile dealers divided into 15 groups. At an Austrian mountaintop hotel, guests watched through a glass wall as Yeti (Abominable Snowman) footprints appeared on the mountainside — an effect created with banners choreographed to unfold on cue. The following day, guests test-drove Yetis on a scenic stretch of mountain road.