Washington Fall 2010
• Washington's Top 100 Events • Survey: How Your Job is Changing • Corporate Holiday Party Ideas
EVENTS MEETINGS MARKETING STYLE STRATEGY IDEAS Washington $4.95 FALL 2010 BIZBASH.COM Washington's Top 100 Events READER SURVEY How Your Job Is Changing How Social Media Experts Do Face-toFace Events PLUS: Outdoor Rentals Gifts That Give Back Attention-Getting Invites Corporate Holiday Party Ideas One Source. Seamless Integration. Setting the standard for over 23 years, Event Tech offers full production services and equipment rentals to the special events, entertainment, and trade show industries. No matter the location or project size, Event Tech meets the needs of its clients through the use of the latest in audio, lighting, power distribution, staging, video switching and projection technologies, and is supported by some of the industry's leading professionals. Contact us today or log onto our website to view our production portfolio and rental catalog. TM One-off productions Equipment rentals Touring productions Toll Free 866-950-8343 www.eventtech.com WASHINGTON Volume 3, Issue 2 Fall 2010 � 2010 BizBash Media The Patron Tequila Express, a refurbished antique railcar, pulled into Washington's Union Station June 8, the second stop on the five-city Epicurean Express tour. Owned by John Paul DeJoria, who also owns Patron Spirits Company, the 85-footlong luxury railcar served as the backdrop for two nights of food and fundraising events. The first evening, which had a $50 ticket price, was an hors d'oeuvres reception in a loading area. Local chefs Ann Cashion, Jeff Tunks, and David Guas worked alongside New Orleansbased chefs Brian Landry and Greg Reggio to create appetizers with a Southern twist. The second night was a seated dinner for 25. More photos and details are on BizBash.com. PHOTOS: TONY BROWN/IMIJINATION PHOTOGRAPHY On the Cover At the 55th annual Corcoran Ball on April 16, nineteenth century photographer Eadweard Muybridge's studies of animal and human locomotion were projected on the walls of the museum's rotunda, and silk screened on table skirts, which were lit from within. Photographed by Tony Brown/Imijination Photography FROM THE EDITORS Quick notes for short attention spans READERS' FORUM What's your dream technology? 39 Holiday Parties Ideas for end-of-the-year gatherings directly from the people who plan them 43 The New Reality Planners' biggest challenges, according to our reader survey 46 Washington's Top 100 Events A roundup of the area's biggest annual undertakings THE DIRECTORY 4 7 THE SCOUT 11 Colored tape installations 12 Attention-grabbing invitations 13 How do you attract younger guests? 14 Outdoor-friendly rentals 15 Meatless entr�es 16 Floral designer Debbie Moultry 18 Corporate gifts with charitable tie-ins 19 An online marketing leader's ambitious offline event VENUES 20 Washington's newest venues EVENT REPORTS 23 The White House Correspondents' Association dinner's A-list after-parties 25 The Opera Ball's themed rooms 26 Washingtonian's gourmet circus at the "Best of Washington" party 28 From Boston: The Institute of Contemporary Art's spring benefit 29 The sponsor-heavy Safeway Barbecue Battle 30 From Los Angeles: The Milken Institute Global Conference 32 The L'Enfant Society's expanded Ball on the Mall 33 T. Boone Pickens' birthday party and benefit 34 From New York: O, The Oprah Magazine's 10th anniversary 35 The Library of Congress' private Paul McCartney concert 60 New Washington venues TED KRUCKEL 80 Tips for choosing the right music for an event ON BIZBASH.COM Comprehensive local venue and supplier directories The latest industry news Local sites for Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami/South Florida, New York, Orlando, Toronto, and Washington bizbash.com fall 2010 3 From the Editors Not-So-Deep Thinking No time for a long column? How about a few short thoughts? Last week I came across three interesting takes on how electronic media is affecting how we think and behave. First The New York Times ran a long front-page piece about the impact of our devotion to information-loaded screens (computers, smartphones, iPads, etc.) and toggling between their apps, emails, videos, texts, games, and RSS feeds. In a nutshell: Our multitasking is actually making it harder for us to move between tasks effectively. Next, on a flight from New York to our annual expo in Los Angeles, in Bloomberg BusinessWeek I read a review of The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, a new book by Nicholas Carr. He says all those Facebook status updates and animated banner ads are zapping our ability to recall information and comprehend what we read. Lastly, while stopping for a drink at the Bazaar, the Jos� Andr�s restaurant inside the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, I skimmed an op-ed piece by Harvard psychology professor Steven Pinker--using a Times app on my iPhone. He suggests everyone chill out about the above. Text messages and CNN screen crawls haven't exactly slowed the pace of scientific discovery. And our experiences can't change the brain's basic capacities. All interesting points--and things to consider when developing event content. It's also my excuse/inspiration for filling this space with random thoughts instead of a cohesive note. Here goes: Speaking of Flying The experience was filled with the indignities we've come to expect from airline travel. Extra fees for checked luggage, food, and Wi-Fi. (I'm half expecting to pay to rent a seat belt next time.) I folded myself into an exit row seat that somehow had less legroom than normal, if you can believe that. But Then... Consider the contrast of checking in at the new Andaz West Hollywood. The concept, as I see it, is modern boutique hotel design with homey service touches. (I've also toured the Andaz Wall Street in New York.) There's no front desk; casually dressed roving staffers armed with tablet computers check you in while sitting on a sofa or standing at a kiosk. The minibar snacks and sodas are free, you pay for booze and beer. There is free Internet access, too, which always wins points from me. (I should note I stayed there because the hotel has a business deal with BizBash.) Flowers from Vert-De-Gris at Politico's brunch after the White House Correspondent's Association dinner BIZBASH EDITOR IN CHIEF Chad Kaydo NEWS EDITOR Courtney Thompson STYLE EDITOR Lisa Cericola ASSOCIATE EDITORS Michael O'Connell, Anna Sekula CHICAGO EDITOR/BUREAU CHIEF Jenny Berg LOS ANGELES EDITOR/BUREAU CHIEF Alesandra Dubin MIAMI EDITOR/BUREAU CHIEF D. Channing Muller TORONTO EDITOR/BUREAU CHIEF Susan O'Neill WASHINGTON EDITOR/BUREAU CHIEF T.J. Walter ART ART DIRECTOR Joey Bouchard ASSISTANT ART/PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Carolyn Curtis PHOTO PHOTO EDITOR Alison Whittington ASSISTANT PHOTO EDITOR Jessica Torossian COPY & RESEARCH ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR Claire Hoffman EDITORIAL INTERN Jennifer Ross Our L.A. keynote speaker Mindy Weiss A Confession I'm no expert on the finer financial points of the airline or hospitality industries, and surely executives or PR people from either could explain their various policies. My point is how these experiences make customers feel, which affects buying decisions. Advertising a cheap rate and then piling on additional costs might increase short-term revenue, but it's not a good long-term branding strategy. More to the Event Industry Point You can have whatever excuses you want for a less-thanstellar guest experience, but the fact is guests don't care. They remember what they remember, which might be the six-foot floral arrangements, or it might be the 20-minute valet wait. You can't control what they talk about the next day, but you can influence what they experience. D.C. Status Update Most of the folks I encountered while covering the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner weekend in Washington were focused squarely on the guest lists of the various parties. They looked past the food to the famous faces, which I'll grant in many cases was the more interesting choice. But some hosts still put out stylish spreads that would stand out in any market. Some highlights are on page 23. Weiss Is Nice Our L.A. keynote speaker, Mindy Weiss, started with photos from her own family gatherings--and self-deprecating asides about her former hairstyles. Moving on to the celebrity nuptials she's known for, she gave a candid, funny presentation full of sound bites (as Colin Cowie did in Florida in April). "Great entertainment, great bar, great party." "Every designer is focusing on lighting fixtures." (She predicts we'll see more residential fixtures at parties.) "Always end, if it's in the budget, with fireworks." Ka-boom. --Chad Kaydo CONTRIBUTORS EDITOR AT LARGE Ted Kruckel WRITER AT LARGE, LOS ANGELES Irene Lacher CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Mimi O'Connor, Brendan Spiegel CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Meryl Rothstein, Andi Teran LOS ANGELES: Shilpa Gopinath, Rosalba Curiel TORONTO: Amy Lazar, Erin Letson WASHINGTON: Adele Chapin, Walter Nicholls COPY EDITOR Libby Estell, Josh Wimmer CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Vincent Dillio, Roger Dong, Nick Ferrari, Emily Gilbert, Dan Hallman, John Minchillo, Alice and Chris Ross, Keith Sirchio BOSTON: Aviran Levy, Patrick Piasecki CHICAGO: Mireya Acierto, Tyllie Barbosa, Barry Brecheisen, Eric Craig, Jeremy Lawson, Eddie Quinones LOS ANGELES: Matt Armendariz, BEImages, Jessica Boone, Nadine Froger, Line 8 Photography, Zen Sekizawa, Dale Wilcox MIAMI: Joseph Cancellare & Associates, Matthew Horton, Moris Moreno, Elizabeth Renfrow, Mitchell Zachs TORONTO: Gary Beechey, Jill Kitchener, Henry Lin, Emma McIntyre, Nicki Leigh McKean, George Pimentel WASHINGTON: Tony Brown/ Imijination Photo, Stephen Elliot, FotoBriceno, Powers and Crewe EDITORIAL OFFICES 21 West 38th St., 13th Floor, New York, NY 10018 phone: 646.638.3600, fax: 646.638.3601 CHICAGO BUREAU 312.436.2525 LOS ANGELES BUREAU 310.659.9510 MIAMI BUREAU 1450 NE 123 St., North Miami, FL 33161 305.808.3535 TORONTO BUREAU 1 Thorncliff Park Drive, Suite 110, Toronto, ON M4H 1G9 416.425.6380 CONTACT US Editorial Feedback and Ideas: email@example.com Event Invitations, Press Releases: firstname.lastname@example.org Directory Listings: email@example.com Subscription Inquiries: 646.839.6835, firstname.lastname@example.org New Subscriptions: bizbash.com/subscribe Subscription Renewals: bizbash.com/renew Reprints: Dani Rose, The YGS Group 800.494.9051 ext. 125, email@example.com BIZBASH MEDIA C.E.O. AND FOUNDER David Adler PRESIDENT Richard Aaron BOARD OF DIRECTORS Jonathan Adler (CHAIRMAN), Richard Aaron, David Adler, Beverly Chell, Martin Maleska, Todd Pietri PHOTOS: BIZBASH 4 bizbash.com fall 2010 BIZBASH MARKETING & CIRCULATION MARKETING MANAGER Aram Fischer PRINT CIRCULATION DIRECTOR Tracey Harilall Event Planning | Unique � Elegant � Historic � Unforgettable SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF SALES AND MARKETING Robert Fitzgerald CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER David Micciulla PRODUCTION DIRECTOR OF PRODUCTION AND CUSTOMER SERVICE J.P. Pag�n NEW MEDIA COORDINATOR Jamie Hile EVENTS SENIOR EVENTS MANAGER Sheryl Olaskowitz OPERATIONS VICE PRESIDENT, CONTROLLER David Levine STAFF ACCOUNTANT Shahla Nas SENIOR DEVELOPER Wei Zheng Video Production Services | Webcasting � Camera Crews � Web Video BIZBASH NEW YORK 21 West 38th St., 13th Floor, New York, NY 10018 646.638.3600, fax: 646.638.3601 PUBLISHER Jacqueline Gould ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Lauren Stonecipher ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER, NATIONAL VENUE GUIDE/ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER, BIZBASH BOSTON Andrew Carlin ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Erica Fand ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Kristie Hudson SALES ASSISTANT Robert Connell BIZBASH BOSTON 617.340.3914 BIZBASH CHICAGO 312.436.2525 PUBLISHER Susan Babin ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Julia Kearney BIZBASH FLORIDA 1450 NE 123rd St., North Miami, FL 33161 305.893.8771 PUBLISHER Ann Keusch BIZBASH LAS VEGAS 702.425.8513 ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Jessica Slama Contact us for a consultation 202.662.7587 firstname.lastname@example.org Your Event is Big News 529 14th St. NW Suite 480 | Washington, D.C. 20045 press.org BIZBASH LOS ANGELES 310.659.9510 PRESIDENT Elisabeth Familian PUBLISHER Hofite Huddleston SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Mandana Valiyee BIZBASH TORONTO 1 Thorncliff Park Drive, Suite 110, Toronto, ON M4H 1G9 416.425.6380 ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Stephen Sinanan ONLINE SALES SPECIALIST Eileen Gualtieri BIZBASH WASHINGTON 202.684.8743 PUBLISHER Shelley Golinsky WASHINGTON ADVISORY BOARD Reggie Agarwal, C.E.O., CVENT; Aisha Davis, PRESIDENT, DESHO PRODUCTIONS; Susan Davis, CHAIRMAN, SUSAN DAVIS INTERNATIONAL; Philip Dufour, FOUNDER, DUFOUR & CO. PRODUCTIONS; Aniko Gaal Schott, PRESIDENT, A. GAAL & ASSOCIATES; Kelly Gillespie, PRESIDENT, GILLESPIE EVENT MANAGEMENT; Jamie Greenwald, VICE PRESIDENT, GALA EVENTS; Tammy Haddad, PRESIDENT, HADDAD MEDIA; David Hainline, PRESIDENT, CAPITOL SERVICES INC.; Carla HargroveMcGill, PRESIDENT, HARGROVE INC.; Leslie Hayes, FOUNDER, HAYES & ASSOCIATES; Chinyere J. Hubbard, VICE PRESIDENT, COMMUNICATIONS & MARKETING, WASHINGTON CONVENTION AND SPORTS AUTHORITY; Victoria Isley, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS, WASHINGTON, D.C. CONVENTION & TOURISM CORP.; Nicole Krakora, DIRECTOR, SPECIAL EVENTS AND PROTOCOL, SMITHSONIAN; La Randa Mayes, STAFF ASSISTANT/EVENT COORDINATOR, SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES MARSHAL'S OFFICE; Gail Mutnick, DIRECTOR OF MEETINGS, A.A.C.C.; Susan Nixon, C.O.O., LCM WEALTH MANAGEMENT GROUP; J. Michael O'Connell, DIRECTOR, CONGRESSIONAL INFORMATION PROGRAM, THE NUCLEAR ENERGY INSTITUTE; Carolyn Peachey, PRESIDENT, CAMPBELL PEACHEY & ASSOCIATES; David Shackley, VICE PRESIDENT OF GLOBAL EVENTS, DISCOVERY CHANNEL; Nancy D. Shaffer, FOUNDER AND C.E.O., BRAVO! EVENTS BY DESIGN; Scott Widmeyer, CHAIRMAN/ C.E.O., WIDMEYER COMMUNICATIONS; Kaye Willis, CLIENT RELATIONS MANAGER, BAKER BOTTS L.L.P. Marketing and Advertising Programs: email@example.com �2010 BIZBASH IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF BIZBASH MEDIA INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION WHOLE OR IN PART WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED. A gala event. For 1,200 guests. Featuring Blackfin Pufferfish soup. And a fire breather? We can handle it. Your ideas come alive at West Belmont Place. With space to celebrate with 100 to 1,800 guests and creative planners who specialize in the art of the party. For your gala, wedding, Bar or Bat Mitzvah, we make it easy to make it unforgettable. make it your event at westbelmontplace.com or call 877.363.3104 leesburg, virginia Readers' Forum What's your dream technology? "In a perfect world, someone would sell tracking devices for executives and talent. In this same world, it would be socially acceptable to place these on your speaker at least two hours before he or she is scheduled to appear at your event!" Grace Garrison, manager of marketing and events, IFC, New York "A room scanner that would tell me if all the tables, bars, buffets, etc. are in the right place and if each one has the correct number of chairs and place settings." Carol Rosen, owner, Party Designs by Carol, Los Angeles "Some sort of handheld gadget that that would be able to draw up floor plans as we do our walkthroughs with clients, and then be able to email them out and print them for staff. This would be so much easier than drawing them out by hand." Lynn Hughes, event sales manager, New England Aquarium "Computer software that would allow me to verbalize deadlines and event dates to be automatically added to or deleted from my event calendar." Anne Schmitz, assistant director of advancement meetings and events, DePaul University, Chicago PHOTOS: TIMOTHY FIELDING STUDIO (ROSEN), COURTESY OF MELISSA BINGHAM "An all-inclusive, portable device that I could use on-site that would allow me to view, edit, and connect all of the planning elements of my event--production schedules, floor plans, decor elevations, staff and volunteer assignments, scripts--with an interactive video stream between me and my team. Maybe an iPad on steroids." Melissa Bingham, president, Bingham Marketing & Events, Chicago "An application for my iPhone that would give me the total square footage and layout of any venue while I was actually in it." Jodi Wolf, president, Paulette Wolf Events & Entertainment, Chicago "Now that 3-D technology is becoming such a hit, it would be great to have a program where we can create a proposal that walks the client through the entire event, 100 percent 3-D." Brit Bertino, special events director, Power Events, Las Vegas "Wireless power. There are many ways to run cable for audio and video connectivity, but when you need to power up everyone's laptop... [being able to] just flip a switch, like we do with wireless Internet, would make things much easier." Joe Camilli, sector manager--technology, PSAV, San Francisco "A robotic Lenny double--but I'm not sure my team would agree." Lenny Talarico, director of events, MGM Mirage Events, Las Vegas Compiled by Claire Hoffman bizbash.com fall 2010 7 WHAT INSPIRES ME "When it comes to hospitality, The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World with Kindness by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Korval is a lovely reminder of how the simplest of thoughtful gestures can determine a successful outcome of a project or event." Gina Tepavchevich, meeting and event coordinator, board affairs, Radiological Society of North America, Chicago My Cool New Job Niels Schuurmans has been named the executive vice president of brand marketing and creative at Spike. In his new role, he oversees all on- and off-air marketing and focuses on the visual presentation of the Spike brand. Schuurmans has been senior vice president at the company since 2004. He previously spent 13 years at Nickelodeon. MY NEW FAVORITE THING PHOTOS: ART ANTONIK (TEPAVCHEVICH), COURTESY OF SPIKE (SCHUURMANS), COURTESY OF CONTACT KEEPER "We've established the brand, and it's time to take it to the next level. I want to turn these shows into franchises. For our show Blue Mountain State, we went to college campuses and hosted games. We sponsored supercross, a motorcycle sporting event. We don't even air supercross, but those are the guys we want to speak to. We had logo presence and people at the tailgates handing out Spike stuff. I want consumers to actually touch and feel the brand." "Contact Keeper ($12.99-$29.99, contactkeeper.com), a notebook with slots for business cards and space for writing notes. Even though I can type everything into my phone, I prefer writing things down while meeting with someone. It keeps my contacts in order until I have the time to sit on my computer and input them all. I purchased it when I saw it at the National Stationery Show this year, where it first launched." Dianne Velez, vice president, Colorblind Productions, New York HOST YOUR NEXT EVENT AT NATIONALS PARK! The home of the Nationals can be the home of your next special event! The opportunities at Washington's hottest new venue are limited only by your imagination. Awards galas Bachelor/Bachelorette parties Bar/Bat Mitzvahs On-Field Batting Practice Championship games Company outings Concerts Expos and Trade Shows Fund-raising events Holiday and Birthday parties /events 202.640.RENT(7368) The Scout CAUGHT ON TAPE PHOTO: COURTESY OF REBECCA WARD Austin, Texas-based artist Rebecca Ward (rebeccasward.com) uses colored gaffer tape to create vivid, site-specific installations that play off existing architecture. Ward lays evenly spaced lines of tape that crisscross ceilings and staircases, rise up from floors and walls, and form three-dimensional sculptures. Ward has done corporate commissions, including an eyecatching hot pink and yellow work for Kate Spade's New York flagship store. Her installations can range from tape-only creations to more elaborate designs that incorporate video and projections. More photos of her work are on BizBash.com. --Lisa Cericola 11 bizbash.com summer 2010 11 Invitations Priority Mail Paper invites can get lost in the shuffle. Here are seven that grabbed guests' attention with... By LISA CERICOLA For its Best New Chefs event in New York in April, Food & Wine created postcards with images of cutlery and wine bottles printed by Corporate Color (800.242.5364, corporatecolor.com). TEXTURE For the launch of music video Web site Vevo in New York in December, Alpine Creative Group (212.989.4198, alpine creativegroup.com) created a two-panel rubber invite that peeled apart. On the front was a holographic foil stamp of Vevo's logo. The inside text was silk screened with a special ink that wouldn't rub off. For the opening of Tyler Perry's Atlanta studios, Creative Intelligence (323.936.9009, creativeintelligence.com) hand-wrapped each invitation in crushed silk taffeta. Inside, the center panel was engraved in metallic gold and merlot. Each invitation was wrapped in a cashmere paper sleeve with the recipient's name calligraphed in gold. John Kneapler Design (212.463.9774, johnkneaplerdesign. com) created a patriotic invite for the Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation's gala at the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum in New York in October. TOYS In April, Washington's Corcoran Gallery of Art held a press preview for an exhibit of work by Eadweard Muybridge, who pioneered stereographs, an early form of 3-D. Westland Enterprises (301.736.0600, westlandenter prises.com) printed a Muybridge stereograph on natural cardstock. American Paper Optics (800.767.8427, 3dglassesonline.com) provided 3-D glasses. TYPE For an April 2009 wedding showcase, M�langerie Inc. (646.248.7823, melangerienyc.com) created a simple yet striking invitation based on a "naughty and nice" theme illustrated with two fonts in contrasting colors and styles. Mackenzie Brown Design (312.443.1000, mackenziebrown.com) created a text-driven invite for the Chicago-based Adler Planetarium's 2009 Celestial Ball, which had a "cosmic fusion" theme. To create an explosive look, the firm merged a vibrant stock image with a bold font on iridescent paper. 12 bizbash.com july/august 2010 PHOTOS: COURTESY OF MACKENZIE BROWN DESIGN, COURTESY OF TYLER PERRY STUDIOS, JOHN KNEAPLER DESIGN, BIZBASH (ALL OTHERS) How do you attract younger guests? By giving events a youthful edge, organizations can draw new customers and donors, and corporations can attract emerging talent or new customers. From carefully curated soundtracks to high-impact entertainment, here are some ways to draw fresh faces. In Chicago, Saks Fifth Avenue director of marketing Julie Selakovich tapped online magazine CheekyChicago.com, which has a core readership of 25- to 40-year-old women, to publicize an in-store fashion show. Saks and Cheeky staffers selected "six influential, fashionable people in Chicago," including PR reps and members of the media, to serve as hosts and models. The event had a fun, low-key vibe with a shiny pink runway by Kehoe Designs, a DJ, and refreshments from sponsors MGD 64 and VitaminWater Zero. Through email blasts from Cheeky, postings on social networking sites, and word-of-mouth publicity from the host committee, the event drew 150 guests. "More than half were new customers to Saks Fifth Avenue," Selakovich says. In April, Hillary Smith and Sarah Turk of Miami's Koncept Events worked on a national road show to promote Cover Girl's Clean Foundation line of cosmetics. Held in the parking lots of stores such as Rite Aid and Walgreens, the events offered free makeovers and product education. Because the makeup is geared toward 13- to 21-year-old women, the events' "marketing, signage, color palette, and even the uniforms and look of the makeup artists, were chosen to appeal to that age range," Smith says. "We also created a playlist with that age group in mind, [with] artists such as Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga." Smith says the coupon redemption for Clean Foundation products was "through the roof" and estimates that 75 to 90 percent of guests purchased products on site. In the nonprofit realm, planners are using after-parties to target emerging philanthropists. When the Art Institute of Chicago debuted its Matisse exhibition in March, the women's board hosted an elegant gala with a champagne reception, a string quartet, and a three-course dinner. Geared toward a younger crowd, a separate event--new this year--started at 10 p.m. in the museum's upper-level restaurant. There, guests found pillowstrewn lounge areas, a dance floor with disco balls, and a buffet of sliders and French fries. Dubbed "Radical Night," the event had a separate host committee comprised of young area United Enterprofessionals. tainment Group, Some 350 guests, Cover Girl's New most in the 21-to York-based PR 40-year-old age and marketing range, attended. agency, enlisted The party was Koncept Events "certainly a great to stage a fivesuccess," says city road show director of donor geared toward initiatives Anne women who are Henry. "It raised just starting to a bit of money. use makeup. More importantly, though, it was an opportunity to welcome a new audience. All ticket purchasers who were not already members of the museum received a membership with their ticket." Jung Lee, co-founder of New York production company F�te, says that clients with particularly dry corporate cultures hire her to produce events that will help retain younger employees. In addition to keeping current staffers, she says, "great corporate events can be selling tools to attract great new talent during the recruiting process." Lee says that uninteresting Ask BizBash PHOTOS: COURTESY OF UNITED ENTERTAINMENT, COURTESY OF CHAMELEON CHAIR COLLECTION, COURTESY OF SENTINA entertainment is a common mistake at corporate gatherings. "Most event entertainment goes on a little too long," she said. "Young employees have a shorter attention span and will get bored." Lee recommends hiring entertainers who can deliver short, high-impact performances that incorporate contemporary humor. She has wrangled up-andcoming comedian Aziz Ansari and talent from Second City Entertainment. She's also hired a professional pickpocket artist to roam cocktail receptions and pluck guests' watches and wallets. --Jenny Berg Multiple USigns can be linked to create a tower. D.I.Y. SIGNAGE Ideal for exhibits or check-in stations, Sentina's (908.964.8109, biz.sentinasmart.com) USign allows planners to create their own illuminated signs. The lightweight TR ADE SHOWS display frames are made of recycled plastic and have built-in LED lighting. To create a custom display, print a sign on an 8- by 11-inch transparency sheet and slide it into the frame. USigns cost $80 each and can be linked together to create a freestanding tower. --Lisa Cericola Splashy New Chair Covers For an over-the-top look, Chameleon Chair Collection is renting a new faux crocodile chair cover in purple, R E NTA LS white, black, or bronze. A chair and cover cost $18.50 and are available nationally through Classic Party Rentals (310.202.0011, classicparty rentals.com). --Alesandra Dubin bizbash.com fall 2010 13 For Rent TAKE IT OUTSIDE By LISA CERICOLA Solei coffee table, $120, available throughout California from Designer8 Event Furniture Rental (800.709.7007, designer8furniturerental.com) Isabell� linen-burlap sofa, $350, available across the U.S. from Suite 206 (214.749.0400, suite206.com) These six outdoor-friendly rentals incorporate natural touches such as wood, rattan, burlap, and faux shrubbery. Meridian Leaf lounge, $237, available across the U.S. and Canada from Cort Event Furnishings (888.710.2525, cortevents.com) Butterfly Effect tables, $220 each, available across the U.S. from Fresh Wata (323.951.0617, freshwata.com) Boxwood hedge planter, $535, available throughout Southern California from FormDecor (714.493.9501, formdecor.com) Broadway chair, $250, available across the U.S. from AFR Furniture Rental and Event Furnishings (888.237.7368, afrevents.com) The world around us is changing and so are we. This summer Windows Catering Company is excited to bring you a new collection of sustainable, beautifully presented and affordably priced menus for every event. -- Henry Dinardo, Chef Proprietor PHOTOS: COURTESY OF VENDORS PHOTOS: NICK ULIVERI (NAPOLEON), RUSSEL DAY (CABBAGE ROLLS), JESSICA BOONE FOR BIZBASH (PAELLA) New on the Menu Meat-Free and Memorable Vegetarians often get short shrift on event menus. Here are three substantial meatless entrees. By LISA CERICOLA Vegetable paella with saffron-scented rice, tofu, and vegetables, from Contemporary Catering (310.558.8190, contemporarycatering.com) in Los Angeles Tofu cabbage rolls in ginger broth with chrysanthemum greens and bok choy, from Daniel et Daniel (416.968.9275, danieletdaniel.ca) in Toronto Grilled vegetable napoleon of eggplant, yellow squash, zucchini, peppers, mushrooms, and phyllo with roasted red pepper sauce and goat cheese, from Phil Stefani Signature Events (312.226.7611, stefanicatering.com) in Chicago EVENTS THAT ILLUMINATE Hargrove will light up your next event with a distinct, creative, and innovative approach sure to engage your audience, leave a memorable impact, and produce results. When you need to shine, call Hargrove. 301.306.9000 www.hargroveinc.com Fresh Face Growing a Business At her new H Street floral studio, Debbie Moultry creates whimsical arrangements for gifts and events. For years Debbie Moultry kept a clipping from a magazine showing what she imagined as her dream floral shop--a brick building with flowers blooming in window boxes and a garden courtyard. One day, she showed the picture to her sister, who pointed Moultry to a similar vacant storefront on H Street, in Northeast Washington's rapidly revitalizing shopping district. In January 2008, the building became home to Nouveau Fleur (202.543.8616). The sign on the door advertises "gallery hours," presenting Moultry's flowers as works of art. "I like creating floral arrangements that will make you say `That's beautiful' and make you appreciate nature," she says. Moultry's cheery shop draws in customers from the neighborhood, as well as corporate clients including Toyota, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Congressional Black Caucus, and the Folger Shakespeare Library. Before opening her business, she earned certification through the U.S.D.A.'s Master Gardener program at the University of the District of Columbia and graduated from a two-year floriculture program at the Community College of Baltimore County. She also worked for three years as a planner at the Dixon Group, where she coordinated logistics and floral designs for congressional events in and around Washington. "It's an adrenaline rush, keeping up with the timeline, the flowers, the placement of everything," she says. Today, Moultry creates custom arrangements that are modern with a touch of whimsy, using unusual Debbie Moultry with Mademoiselle Fleur, the shop's mascot colors and pulling in elements of the outdoors. "That's what I like my arrangements to look like, an extension of my garden, with sticks, stones, apple blossoms, everything natural," she says. For a 2009 reception honoring Congresswoman Carolyn Kilpatrick during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's annual Legislative Conference, Moultry used mums, hydrangeas, and deep purple ornamental kale, with an eightfoot-tall arrangement of birch bark and orchids for the stage near the podium. "Everything is very bright, colorful, and out of the ordinary," says Kim Rudolph, Kilpatrick's chief of staff. "She is just a pleasant, nice person. Give her a budget and she'll stick to the budget and make it very creative." --Adele Chapin Perfect Settings can insert LED lights in the tables. STREET FOOD ON WHEELS S�u�� (eatsauca.com) serves globally inspired street food around metro Washington. The menu includes soups ($4); salads ($5.50-$6.50); toffles ($4.50), BelgianCATE R I NG style waffles with different toppings; and s�u��s ($6.50-$7.50), griddled flatbread sandwiches with fillings like beef shawarma, pork b�nh m�, and Mumbai butter chicken. There S�u�� serves globally are 22 sauces, inspired fare. including chimichurri, white miso, barbecue sauce, tahini, and passion fruit mayo, all of which can be used for s�u��s. Event catering is available. --L.C. New Customizable Tables Perfect Settings' (202.722.2900, perfectsettings.com) new Chameleon Tables can be made bigger or smaller to create bars, buffets, and cocktail tables. The collection is constructed of welded steel frames that support four or more 15-inch panels that comprise the exterior of each piece. R E NTA LS The panels can be covered in a variety of materials, including fabric, wood, bamboo, and metal. Owner Peter Grazzini also will work with planners to create completely customized rentals. Prices range from $200 to $500 per piece. --Lisa Cericola 16 bizbash.com fall 2010 PHOTOS: GREG POWERS FOR BIZBASH (PORTRAIT), COURTESY OF PERFECT SETTINGS, COURTESY OF RIPE.COM (S�U��) Cookies for Kids' Cancer (646.454.0386, cookiesforkidscancer.org) funds pediatric cancer research through the sale of baked goods, $30 per dozen. Gifts The Women's Bean Project (womensbean project.com) hires women in poverty to create and package food items like salsa, chili, and bean soup mixes. Gift baskets start at $30. TWICE AS NICE These 10 corporate goodies have built-in charitable tie-ins. By LISA CERICOLA Ten percent of proceeds from Presents for a Purpose's (212.580.0515, presentsforpurpose. com) oilcloth toiletry bag, $25, go to one of 23 charities, including the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Through Bright Endeavors (773.388.2811, brightendeavors. org), homeless and at-risk young women make Dreambeam soy candles in recycled glass containers, $12 to $45. Rara coasters, $12.95 for four, from the Hunger Site (888.355.4321, thehungersite.com) are made by Haitian artisans out of recycled materials and support Partners in Health. Cards for Causes (888.832.4153, cards forcauses.com) creates personalized stationery, starting at $105 for 100 cards. Twenty percent of proceeds go to any licensed charity. 18 bizbash.com fall 2010 PHOTOS: ALL COURTESY OF VENDORS New Orleans-based What's Surbag (whatsurbag-usa. com) creates tote bags, $14.95 and up, that support Hope House's food and shelter assistance, adult learning programs, and other services. This unisex scarf, $30, from the Yellow Bird Project (yellowbird project.com) benefits organizations such as Mercy Corps and Greenpeace. Chocomize (856.375.2041, chocomize.com) offers 90 ingredients to create custom candy bars that start at $4 each. A small percentage goes to one of three charities, including the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Charity: Water's (646.688.2323, charitywater.org) stainless steel Thermos hydration bottle, $42, funds 20 years of clean water for two people in developing nations. Strategy Session Social Life The social media gurus at Mashable drew a sold-out crowd to their most ambitious offline event yet, a daylong conference during New York Internet Week. By MICHAEL O'CONNELL Like so many technology fests, New York Internet Week is a booze-soaked labyrinth of panels, launches, and networking events. It provides a brief, face-to-face respite for guests whose lives and professions revolve almost entirely around a glowing computer screen, so getting them to commit to one daylong event, in a week crammed with dozens of different initiatives, requires a compelling pitch. That was the dilemma for social media blog Mashable, whose previous Internet Week outing was a mixer with little opportunity for branding or audience education. Since it was founded in 2005, Mashable has become the de facto authority on marketing with social media and is only bested in U.S. blog traffic by the Huffington Post and Gizmodo. Looking to create a signature event that could cater to the varied interests of its readership while providing an attractive opportunity for sponsors, the brand put on the Mashable Media Summit at the Times Center on June 8. Instead of typical conference panels, the summit lined up an entire day of presentations from social and digital media experts in arenas as diverse as hospitality, music, consumer branding, video production, and location technology, all speaking about how Web marketing and promotions worked to their advantage. By casting the widest possible net, Mashable hoped to court an equally diverse group of guests. "We're known for throwing parties, but that's not really what we're about," says Brett Petersel, who handles Mashable's business development and events, but had never done anything on the scale of the summit. "I think it was time to see if we could really do something big like this." After being heavily promoted on the site and appearing on recommended event lists from CNET and the Daily Beast, the summit drew a sold-out crowd of more than 400. Attendees paid $499 for their nearly eight hours of live programming. "We didn't really target specific people," Petersel said. "We just put it out there, what we were doing, for the people who might be somewhat familiar with the terminology but wanted to learn how to do it and wanted to hear it from people who'd done it well." Mashable looked to speakers who were recognizable, but not familiar speaking circuit faces. Coordinating with business and editorial staffers, Petersel brought in more than 20 experts, including Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley; Starbucks vice president of brand, content, and online Chris Bruzzo; and actor Edward Norton, who made a recent foray into social media with a fund-raising Web site called Brett Petersel Crowdrise. Securing marketing partners ended up being easier. "A lot of sponsors just came to us," said Petersel. He had worked with many of the brands before, though typically on events that offered less exposure. "As for the others, we approached our sponsors the same way we always do, giving them the opportunity to meet our audience, do some business, and see firsthand how much we've grown." Yahoo, HP, and Motorola-- which gave each attendee a new phone--were among the brands that came on board. The biggest partnership of all was with CNN. Mashable chief operations officer Adam Hirsch, who first came up with the idea of the summit, brought on the cable news network as an official co-host in the early stages. All of the day's content--in addition to being streamed on Mashable--was available online via direct links on CNN's home page. However, as might have been expected in a group so focused on social media, it was the guests who provided much of the content promotion. From start to finish, the conference offered the very meta sight of most attendees clacking out blog entries on laptops and Blackberries and stealthily tweeting from their new iPads. Attendees tweeted and blogged from the conference. Sponsor Motorola set up a photo booth and gave each attendee a phone. PHOTOS: KENNETH YEUNG/THELETTERTWO.COM (PETERSEL), COURTESY OF MASHABLE (ALL OTHER PHOTOS) Mashable editor in chief Adam Ostrow interviewed Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley. CNN co-hosted the summit and linked to online content from the day. bizbash.com fall 2010 19 Maryland's New Gastropub Washington-based hospitality firm the Whisk Group expanded its Againn gastropub to Rockville with the opening of Againn Tavern in July. The 8,100-square-foot venue's design reflects a modern interpretation of a traditional British pub with dark paneling, cognac-colored leather booths, and traditional gas lanterns. Executive chef Wesley Morton incorporates organic, locally produced ingredients and certified humane meats into the menu of pub classics like fish and chips with mushy peas and bangers and mash. Two semiprivate rooms can accommodate 50 people each. In addition to the 215-seat dining room, the tavern has outdoor seating and a separate bar area. (12256 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Md., 301.230.9260) Venues By WALTER NICHOLLS & T.J. WALTER Modern Meetings Opened in April, Vetro is a 1,400-square-foot, members-only lounge and event venue on the mezzanine of the Tower Building on the K Street corridor. The long space has gray and white walls and is divided in half by a series of four glass-encased industrial columns. On one side of the columns is a 12seat stainless steel bar with white leather stools; on the other side, Barcelona sofas, chairs, and adjustable glass cocktail tables create flexible seating areas. Audiovisual capabilities include a wall of five projection screens and a DJ booth. Vetro holds 200 for a reception, seats 80, and for full buyouts, can be combined with neighboring venue Lima Restaurant and Lounge to accommodate more than 800 guests. (1401 K St. NW, 202.789.2800) Washington's outpost of the international chain Buddha-Bar opened in May in Mount Vernon Triangle. The 9,500-square-foot restaurant and lounge has 22-foot ceilings, massive red-tasseled chandeliers, and an 18-foot-tall signature Buddha sculpture in the center of the 170-seat dining room. In the 50-seat lounge, as well as the dining room, chairs and sofas are covered in paisley brocade or polished silk, and more than 700 yards of gold fabric cover the floor-to-ceiling windows. In addition to sushi, the Pan-Asian menu includes curry shrimp in banana leaves, five spice chicken, and wok-fried beef with basil. (455 Massachusetts Ave. NW, 202.377.5555) A Massive Revamp The Washington Hilton held its official reopening in June after a three-year, $150 million renovation. In addition to new guest rooms, common areas, restaurants, and a health club, the renovation added two function spaces: Columbia Hall and the Heights Executive Meeting Center. On the terrace level, the 30,000-square-foot Columbia Hall has a series of movable walls that allow for the space to be tailored to a variety of group sizes. Adjoining the hall are seven renovated meeting suites that can be used as breakout rooms or in conjunction with the hall's main exhibition space. The nine-room Meeting Center offers groups dedicated meeting space within the hotel. The property now boasts more than 110,000 square feet of function space. (1919 Connecticut Ave. NW, 202.232.0438) ON BIZBASH.COM A look at Baltimore's newest venues 20 bizbash.com january/february 2010 PHOTOS: GREG POWERS (AGAINN), STACEY GOLDBERG (BUDDHA-BAR, COURTESY OF WASHINGTON HILTON, BIZBASH (VETRO) A Parisian Import Springtime at the Renaissance INSIDE EDGE Event Tech's Low-Profile 60-foot Tower Drape Kings Opens D.C. Office LIMA Unveils Exclusive Event Space EVENT REPORTS PHOTO: TONY BROWN/IMIJINATION PHOTOGRAPHY Banner Hosts For its White House Correspondents' Association dinner after-party, MSNBC lined the Mellon Auditorium's walls with three-story-high banners promoting its shows and personalities. 23 MSNBC entered the after-party scrum, hosting its debut bash at the Mellon Auditorium. House Race The White House Correspondents' after-parties competed with A-listers and self-serve s'mores. Rachel Maddow made three specialty cocktails at her own bar at the MSNBC party. At MSNBC's after-party, Occasions Caterers served a large array of casual food options, including selfserve s'mores. Occasions served push-up ice cream pops from glowing trays. At the Bloomberg/Vanity Fair party, guests including Anna Kendrick and Rosario Dawson lounged among political pillows. The Capitol File party took over the grand ballroom at the Renaissance Mayflower. ON BIZBASH.COM More photos from the White House Correspondents Association dinner weekend events The competition for guests leaving the White House Correspondents' Association dinner at the Hilton Washington on May 1--Washington's biggest annual party night--saw a new contestant. MSNBC challenged the two major players of recent years, the Bloomberg/Vanity Fair party and the bash thrown by Niche Media's Capitol File, with a large, lavish event that offered a big spread of comfort food and the evening's only musical performance. All three used their distinct charms to lure black-tie guests from the political, media, and entertainment folks in town: intimate exclusivity (Bloomberg/Vanity Fair), raucous fun (Capitol File), and curiosity about the newcomer (MSNBC). Bloomberg's longtime party presence and Vanity Fair's star power retained their event's status as the evening's toughest ticket. A-list political figures like White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel mingled with Hollywood heavyweights like Morgan Freeman in the sprawling residence of the French ambassador. The Vanity Fair team lit the trees on the grounds in green, blue, and orange, and put out pillows printed with humorous political quotes. Meanwhile, MSNBC made its own big statement with roving Bloomberg/Vanity spotlights and a tented table for 20 Fair White House check-in staffers at the entrance to Correspondents' the Mellon Auditorium. Four bars Association Dinner flanked a checkerboard dance floor, After-Party while Rachel Maddow manned Catering Design Cuisine another bar named for her. At the Caterers other end of the vast room, KC and MSNBC Party the Sunshine Band took the stage. Producer Phillip Dufour and Eric Catering Occasions Caterers Michaels from Occasions Caterers Decor A Vista Events made sure there was plenty of Flowers Jack H. Lucky Floral homey food circulating the party. Design Capitol File's fifth annual afterLighting Atmosphere Lighting party doubled as an 85th anniverProduction Dufour & Co sary celebration for the Renaissance Rentals Perfect Settings Mayflower Hotel, which underwrote L.L.C. the festivities and brought in New Security The Bilyeu Group LLC York-based Tony Berger of Relevent to Transportation Carey produce. On the hotel's first floor, a Limousine tiny lounge allowed guests to check Valet Atlantic Services out R Life, the hotel brand's blog, and Group Venue Andrew W. Mellon tables were piled high with sweets Auditorium from Edward Marc Chocolatier. But the main action was in the Capitol File Party grand ballroom, where DJ Cassidy Catering, Security, Valet, spun an upbeat mix for an expected Venue Renaissance 1,600 people that had the likes Mayflower Hotel Decor, Production Relevent of Desir�e Rogers--the recently Group LLC departed White House social secreDJ DJ Cassidy tary, and a co-host of the party last Lighting AG Light and year--dancing in the V.I.P. area on Sound Inc. the mezzanine. --Chad Kaydo WASHINGTON 24 PHOTOS: RODNEY CHOICE (CAPITOL FILE) DIMITRIOS KAMBOURIS/VF1/WIREIMAGE(VANITY FAIR), TONY BROWN/IMIJINATION PHOTGRAPHY FOR BIZBASH (MSNBC) Russian Standard The Opera Ball offered history lessons via themed rooms at the Russian Embassy The Washington National Opera set a new standard for its largest annual fund-raiser, the Opera Ball, which took over the ceremonial building at the Embassy of the Russian Federation on May 21. This year Entertainers circled the marked the first time the Opera Ball was hosted snow-filled courtyard in conjunction with Russia, and throughout the in Zorbs, the symbol evening more than 600 guests were immersed in of the upcoming 2014 Russian history by way of five themed spaces that winter Olympics in Sochi, offered glimpses into the nations's past and its Russia. future. The event, which was overseen by chairman Susan Lehrman, raised $1.5 million. Patti Humphrey, director of special events for Vintage samovars the Washington National Opera, said the ceremodecorated the nial building at the embassy was an easy choice Yellow Hall, which due to the fact that it "was such a clean slate to became a Russian work with, but still offered so much history and tearoom. tradition." Although these spaces offered plenty of creative freedom, there still were challenges to working within the confines of an embassy. While a typical Opera Ball takes five days to set up, this year's event required 12, due to the security requirements and the large amount of furniture In the Golden Hall, two dessert stations and decor. served Faberge egg cakes by Sylvia Weinstock. For the majority of attendees, the evening began at one of 22 formal dinners hosted by embassies all over the city. Guests arrived at the Russian embassy shortly after 9:30 p.m., where a canopied red carpet ran from the front gate to the entryway, and Quince Imaging projected eight-story images of traditional Russian architecture on one of the ancillary embassy buildings. Inside the embassy, the lobby was The Washington transformed into a winter landscape National Opera Ball with plush white carpets and white Audio All Stage and Sound birch trees lining the hallway. The Inc. winter theme continued into the Catering Occasions courtyard, which was designed in Caterers, Sylvia Weinstock Cakes, Terracocoa tribute to the upcoming 2014 Winter Quince Imaging projected images of Entertainment Alexander Olympics in Sochi, Russia. storied Russian architecture on one of Izbitser, Duchin On the second floor were four Entertainment, KSE the embassy's ancillary buildings. themed rooms including the Golden Productions Inc. Flowers Fields & Chambers Hall, which was made over as St. PeFloral Events, Flowers, tersburg's Winter Palace; Yellow Hall, Sticks and Stones: Designs which became a Russian tea room; Petrovsky Hall became an ice by Susan Edgar, Plants Petrovsky Hall, which resembled an palace complete with seven Alive Inc. Lighting Atmosphere Inc., ice palace; and Palekh Hall, which nine-foot-tall ice sculptures. Frost Lighting took on the look of Tolstoy's library. Printing MacImpressions For entertainment, the Peter Production Sandi R. Duchin Orchestra kept the dance Hoffman LLC Special Events floor abuzz, and rising opera stars Projections Quince Imaging from the Bolshoi Opera gave three Rentals DC Rental, Gala Inc., 15-minute performances in an adjaHDO Productions, Party cent auditorium. The ball concluded Rental Ltd., Props for Today Valet Atlantic Services shortly after 1 a.m. and all guests reGroup ceived an official program and a shot Venue Embassy of the glass engraved with the symbol of Russian Federation the Russian Federation. --T.J. Walter WASHINGTON PHOTOS: TONY BROWN/IMIJINATION PHOTOGRAPHY FOR BIZBASH bizbash.com fall 2010 25 One of the three bars resembled a game booth with a spinning wheel of fortune. Event designers added whimsical touches to the bars and side tables. Restaurants were grouped into fours under a series of striped and solid tents. Guests could try their hand at classic circus games like the hammer swing. 26 bizbash.com fall 2010 PHOTOS: TONY BROWN/IMIJINATION PHOTOGRAPHY FOR BIZBASH Planners wanted to let guests act like kids with activities such as cut-out photo boards. clowns and stilt walkers mingled through the crowd of 1,500 people, performing tricks along the way. Luckily, all the food was well above typical circus fare as more than 70 area restaurants doled out one or two dishes at their individual tables. Washingtonian staged a gourmet circus Although most of entertainment was of at the "Best of Washington" party. the old-school variety, planners also embraced technology and added a new level of interactivWashingtonian magazine reity to the event. Guest photos taken in the photo WASHINGTON turned to the National Building booth instantly appeared on a massive overhead Museum on July 21 for its annual "Best of Washscreen in the middle of the museum. Five roamington" party, which marks the July issue honoring photographers ing reader-generated picks in areas ranging from also sent food and Washingtonian Best of pizza to politicians. While the venue remained the group shots from the Washington Party same, the circus theme was a departure from last floor to a behind-theAudiovisual Production year's Asian-inspired party. scenes photo editor, CPR Multimedia Jennifer Haber, the magazine's director of who uploaded them Beverages Metropolitan Ice Catering Occasions marketing and special events, worked with Harto the screen. SponCaterers grove Inc. and A. Dominick Events to transform sor Verizon Wireless Entertainment Cast of the spacious museum into a gourmet circus with also got in on the Thousands Entertainment many of Washington's top restaurants, as well as action, setting up a Company Event Management A. tents, games, and a sword swallower. text-to-win program Dominick Events "The circus idea came out of a planning sesfor the evening's best Photobooth sion where we were looking at past ideas and I dish. Using a code onomonomedia saw a picture of a stilt walker," Haber said. "The at each restaurant's Design, Production Hargrove Inc. circus is all about having fun, and we wanted to table, guests could Rentals Perfect Settings create a circus with a twist, where adults could be text in their favorite L.L.C. a kid for the night." dish, which eventually Tenting Skyline Tent The tone was set early as a carnival barker went to Co Co. Sala's Company Valet Marc Parc Valet Inc. and a fire swallower greeted guests the moment German chocolate Venue National Building they arrived and will-call tickets were available in whoopie pie. Museum a large red and white striped tent. Inside, juggling --T.J. Walter Circus Style 2001 2011 A DECADE OF CELEBRATING IDEAS Celebrating a Decade of Fresh Ideas and Inspiration Register Today at bizbashnewyorkexpo.com and celebrate 10 years of BizBash on Wednesday, October 27 with: 10 INCREDIBLE GIVEAWAYS 10 AMAZING ACTS PLUS A DAY FULL OF: EXHIBITOR INQUIRIES Call 646.839.6840 or email firstname.lastname@example.org New York / The Javits Center / October 27, 2010 Mini screens placed on serving trays displayed work from the museum's teen programs. New Addition The I.C.A. took its gala to a raw space this year, and introduced an after-party. Bright flowers and driftwood added an organic vibe to the contemporary dinner decor. The Institute of Contemporary Art hosted its annual spring fund-raising event on May 7, this year attracting larger crowds with its first-ever after-party, dubbed "Party on the HarAstroturf and illuminated bor." The evening bars transformed the raw kicked off with the office space for cocktail hour. "A Gala Celebration" cocktail party and dinner in the adjacent One Marina Park building in Fan Pier. "We wanted to liven up the night. Not everyone could come to the dinner, and it was a nice way to let people come and not invest in a major ticket price," said Susie Allen, the museum's director of special events. BOSTON Using green Astroturf, fake hedging, and glowing plastic bars, PBD Events transformed the 13th floor of the new Marina Park Building from a raw, concrete-and-glass shell. Custom, industriallooking light bulb chandeliers and mirrored tables contrasted with wooden tabletops and tropical flowers for an organic-meets-contemporary vibe. Inspired by the museum's Dr. Lakra exhibition, servers donned T-shirts with tattoo designs by the artist. Max Ultimate Food provided a martini juice bar, passed hors d'oeuvres, a twocourse meal, and an old-fashioned ice cream truck outside. Large arrows formed from white fluorescent lights guided the 430 dinner guests to walk across the boardwalk to the I.C.A., where they joined 300 additional guests. Packed with entertainment and special activities, the fete included henna tattoo stations and a photo booth that projected the images it took around the building. Local band Endway provided live I.C.A. Gala music for a secondfloor dessert lounge Catering Max Ultimate supplied by Wolfgang Food, Wolfgang Puck Catering Puck Catering. Decor, Production, Rentals Downstairs, DJ PBD Events (Party by Ruckus performed Design) and guests were ofDJ DJ Ruckus Entertainment Endway fered I.C.A. branded Flowers Winston Flowers flip-flops for their Rentals Be Our Guest Inc. sore feet at the Venue Institute of end of the evening. Contemporary Art --Erica Corsano SPECIAL EVENT DECORATOR SILVER SPRING, MD 3 0 1.5 6 5 . 0 0 2 0 WASHINGTON, DC 2 02.588.9 1 9 1 ACCENT@ENCOREDECORINC.COM WWW.ENCOREDECORINC.COM PHOTOS: AVIRAN LEVY PHOTOGRAPHY FOR BIZBASH event systems Char-Broil staged a friendly game of cornhole alongside its new line of infrared cooking systems. At the barbecue competition, guests could purchase ribs, pulled pork, and much more from vendors like the awardwinning Smoke Stack BBQ. The Lunchables exhibit catered to families with small children and featured several interactive games and a cooling station. have attracted sponsors over the years, like its longevity. "Coming into our 18th year, the battle has longevity with a proven turnout year after year. We have also earned a solid reputation with the marketing companies and sponsors that our event The Safeway Barbecue Battle provides a really good setup for them and they will attracted Oscar Meyer lunchables, be taken care of from start to finish," Tubis said. Verizon, and other sponsors. Exhibitors and sponsors with giveaways or interactive elements attracted the most attention Despite temperatures that throughout the two-day festival. Lunchables and WASHINGTON reached into the 100s, more local cable provider RCN both brought in climbing than 100,000 people made their way to Pennwalls for attendees while the Oxygen Network sylvania Avenue the weekend of July 2 for the showcased its dancing competition show, Dance Safeway National Capital Barbecue Battle. The You're A** Off with dancing demos on its mobile 18th annual event, which at its core is a cooking stage. Greyhound and Peter Pan Bus Lines capitalcompetition with thousands of dollars at stake, ized on the heat by turning up the air conditionhas evolved over the years and now features a ing on two of their new buses and using them wide range of sponsors and exhibitors setting up as cooling stations. Once inside, guests could sit space along eight blocks of downtown D.C. down in the new leather seats and check out new "First time visitors are typically surprised at amenities, like on-board Wi-Fi. what they find at the battle," said Suzanne Tubis, When it came to food, attendees could purvice president of publicity for the Safeway National chase everything from pad Thai and French fries to Capital Barbecue Battle. "We have been really lucky turkey legs and pulled pork from vendors or they with the great sponsors and exhibitors we have could line up for the free samples in the massive been able to attract over the years, and much of Safeway sampling pavilion. Despite waiting times that starts with having a great title sponsor like that lasted more than hour, the tent offered some Safeway." Tubis also spoke to the other factors that 30 free samples from sponsors. --T.J. Walter On 'Cue PHOTOS: TONY BROWN/IMIJINATION PHOTOGRAPHY FOR BIZBASH www.nomadevents.com 703-354-2939 Think Tank About 3,000 attendees went through registration. The Milken Institute Global Conference drew 3,000 attendees for 140 panels amid 560 top thinkers. The Milken Institute's Global Conference ran April 26 through 28 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. With 560 speakers on 140 panels, the event brought spirited discussions among top-level decision makers and thinkers on topics like education, energy, the environment, finance, religion, government, health, media, and philanthropy. T. Boone Pickens, Maria Shriver, Eli Broad, and Les Moonves were among the participants in the discussions, which brought more than 3,000 atThe conference tendees representhosted 140 panels. ing 60 countries. Even non-attendees could check out the proceedings through recordings of all public sessions that were available online within hours of their completion. To produce the event, Milken Institute senior event manager Bryan LOS ANGELES The event was filmed for live broadcast. Quinan and Milken Family Foundation senior vice president of creative services Larry Lesser tapped Vision Matrix, led by Josh Lesser, the former director of video production for Milken Family Foundation. About 150 freelance staffers were on hand for support during the programming. Josh Lesser explained that producing the show was a 24-hour, on-call, live-in situation. "You never know when someone's going to need that projector--those things come left and right at us. One of the things that makes this thing so successful is that we live on site and we have 115 walkie-talkies." "One of the challenges every year that we face is, how do you keep the show with the level of people that we have safe and secure? How do we make IDs safe?" said Lesser. "We work with security firm Guardsmark and they bring officers, and there's an internal security element." Among the new programming this year (revived from a past incarnation) was the Global Gourmet Games, an interactive event Milken Institute Global that paired leaders in Conference business and industry Crew, Equipment Video with chefs and somApplications meliers for a program Production, Technical to benefit the Prostate Production Vision Matrix Security Guardsmark Cancer Foundation Tenting Classic Party and FasterCures. Rentals Related programming Venue Beverly Hilton Hotel also took place at resVideo Equipment Video Equipment Rentals (VER) taurants and private Walkies BearCom Wireless homes. --Alesandra Worldwide Dubin NOW IN WASHINGTON DC! NEW YORK CITY 888�DRAPE�ME / drapekings.com WASHINGTON DC 30+ COLORS / STAR DRAPE / KABUKI DROP / STANCHIONS / RED CARPET / HARDWARE / 24-7 SERVICE PHOTOS: VISION MATRIX PRODUCTIONS The dinner tent housed a mix of square and rectangular tables adorned with vibrant linens. Glass vases and flowers anchored the tables and seating areas in the reception tent. DJ Heather Femia (right) provided background music during dinner before transitioning to dance tunes later in the evening. 32 bizbash.com july/august 2010 PHOTOS: TONY BROWN/IMIJINATION PHOTOGRAPHY FOR BIZBASH Design Cuisine passed hors d'oeuvres as V.I.P. guests arrived for the seated dinner. ed in sponsoring a table as opposed to sponsoring just a buffet and dance event." The V.I.P. dinner got under way after 6:30 p.m. under a clear top tent, which allowed the 350 The Ball on the Mall added a seated diners to sit for their meal and interact in natural meal and raised $350,000. light. Guests were seated at a mix of rectangular and square bar-height tables adorned with viThe L'Enfant Society hosted its brant green and purple fabrics, and a trio of glass WASHINGTON second annual Ball on the Mall bulb chandeliers hung from the center support on May 8 under the shadow of the Washington column. Design Cuisine provided its take on highMonument on the National Mall. The sold-out end Mexican fare, serving spicy pork enchiladas black-tie affair, held in a series of tents, attracted with Veracruz mole and pepita-crusted halibut more than 800 people and raised $350,000 to with black bean, corn, and jicama chutney and restore and improve the National Mall. The event cilantro cream sauce. has quickly become one of the top events of the At 8:30 p.m., V.I.P. guests made their way to year for the young philanthropic crowd, and Althe main reception tent, where an additional 450 lison Signorelli, the Trust for the National Mall's guests were gathered. Here a variety of buffet fund-raising consultant, along with her committables served dessert selections and Mexican tee, wanted to retain and capitalize foods like sausage empanadas National Trust Ball on on that status when they began and tamalas. Four bars flanked the the Mall planning this year's event. interior of the tent while the center "After last year we took a hard was reserved for the dance floor, Catering, Rentals Design Cuisine Caterers look at what people liked about the where DJ Heather Femia played Decor, Production, Staging event and what they didn't like," a mix of world music and top 40 A Vista Events Signorelli said. "We thought there until the house lights were turned DJ DJ Heather Femia was a hole in the event market for on at midnight. Entertainment Mariachi Los Amigos people in their 30s and 40s when it Among the noted guests for came to exciting, affordable black-tie Event Management Allison the evening were Silver Spoons Signorelli events, especially ones that included Invitations Design Army star Ricky Schroder, jazz legend Ski a seated dinner. There are plenty of Johnson, and former Bachelor Andy Lighting, Production Fandango Productions super-expensive dinner events and Baldwin. Whitney Houston was Signage Signs by Tomorrow cocktail parties, but nothing in the rumored to be making an appearTenting HDO Productions middle. We were able to attract a lot Venue National Mall and ance, but failed to show. of new sponsors who were interest--T.J. Walter Memorial Parks Dinner Time Several of Mrs. Pickens' mustangs were on display during the cocktail hour. Madeleine Pickens presented her husband with a tepee cake for his 82nd birthday. The dinner for 350 guests was held inside the museum's Potomac Atrium. macaroni and cheese bites, chicken pot pie fritters, and grilled shrimp on sweet potato cakes. Shortly after 8:30 p.m. guests were ushered into the museum's dramatic Potomac Atrium. The Billionaire T. Boone Pickens evening began on a strong patriotic note with the hosted a mustangs benefit that U.S. Navy Band accompanying military and Native doubled as his birthday party. American color guards for the Presentation of the Colors. Grammy nominee and eight-time Native As many of the country's American Music Awards winner Jana Mashonee WASHINGTON elected officials were hamsang the national anthem while Atmosphere mering out the final details of a financial reform Lighting blanketed the atrium walls with projecbill on the House floor on May 20, Madeleine and tions of the American flag. T. Boone Pickens hosted more than 350 guests Ridgewells' Southwestern menu began with at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the an appetizer trio: a sweet corn tamale on a bed of American Indian for an evening that was planned poblano corn salsa; pinto, black and green bean as a "celebration of America's heritage." salad; and chilled butternut squash soup, followPart of celebrating that heritage ed by bison tenderloin. was honoring the horse, most nota- Celebrating America's During the entr�e guests were Heritage With bly the American mustang, which treated to a performance by AmeriMadeleine and T. played a central role in America's can Idol alum Katharine McPhee Boone Pickens history and is the focus of Madand opera singer Josh Page. While eleine Pickens' foundation, Saving the evening began as a celebration Cake The Sweet Life America's Mustangs. Four mustangs Catering Ridgewells of America's heritage, the event took center stage during the cocktail Design, Event also became an 82nd birthday Management Events in hour, held outside on the museum's party of sorts for T. Boone Pickens, the City stone entrance patio. The guests, who was presented with a towerFlowers Holly Heider Chapple Flowers Ltd. including members of Congress and ing cake designed like a traditional TV personalities, took full advantage Lighting Atmosphere Native American tepee. Following a Lighting of their access to the horses and rendition of "Happy Birthday," servProduction Hanson many spent time interacting with ers doled out chocolate-strawberry Productions L.L.C. Rentals Perfect Settings the trainers and posing for photos. cake along with a festive glass of L.L.C. In line with the heritage theme, Blanc de Bleu Cuvee Mousseux, a Venue National Museum of Ridgewells Catering passed Ameripastel blue sparkling wine. the American Indian can comfort food hors d'oeuvres like --T.J. Walter Horsing Around PHOTOS: BRYAN BLANKEN/FREED PHOTOGRAPHY (DINNER), NASHAN NALTCHAYAN Saturday afternoon's Live Your Best Life event took over part of the Javits Center, filling it with seminars, activities, and sponsor activations. At the end of Sunday's charity walk, Winfrey took to a stage in Times Square to address the crowd and wrap up the weekend. Attendees tacked messages onto the Inspiration Wall at the Javits Center. Sponsor L'Or�al Paris offered makeovers, sampling, and tips at the Javits Center and the day before at Gotham Hall. Orman, Dr. Mehmet Oz, designer Nate Berkus, and others--and a small trade show of participating sponsors. "We kept our seminar piece intact, but we wanted to dress it up with other events. Slowly Oprah Winfrey's magazine marked 10 but surely, we layered all of the pieces on it," Manyears with a sold-out weekend of events. ning said. Those other elements included a separate registration event to welcome the attendees For the 10th Anniversary of O, (from all 50 states and abroad), the live evening NEW YORK The Oprah Magazine, the media program with Winfrey at Radio City Music Hall on queen brought in all of her different properties Saturday, and the public charity walk. for a weekend of events for 5,500 women that After announcing the program, O received included a registration kickoff party, seminars overwhelming interest in the weekend, but decidat the Javits Center, a performance at Radio City, ed early on to cap attendance at 5,500, the capacity and a Mother's Day charity walk. at Radio City. "We didn't want to sell Oprah's Live Your Best "It's been a little over a year the events individually," Manning Life Weekend since we started working on this," said, "so we decided to make it a full Party Production Empire said O associate publisher of weekend event by limiting to the Entertainment Inc. marketing Stefanie Manning. "And capacity of the program venue." Party Venue Radio City while the magazine put this on, On Sunday, May 9, the regisMusic Hall we worked in tandem with all the trants were joined by an additional PR Susan Magrino Agency Oprah properties, which was a first." Registration Catering 5,000 members of the public for a Thomas Preti Caterers O marketing art director Jessica Mother's Day charity walk to Times Registration Lighting Podoshen came up with the design Square, which, after the bomb Bentley Meeker Lighting for the weekend, and the magazine scare the week before, ended up & Staging Registration Production, enlisted Empire Entertainment and being one of the more complicated Seminar Production LeadDog Marketing to produce the elements of the weekend. LeadDog Marketing Group different events. "That was a little frightening, Inc. The magazine holds signature but we worked hand-in-hand with Registration Venue Gotham Hall events every year, but this was the the city," Manning said. The walk Seminar Lighting PRG first in New York and the first to went off without a hitch, and after Lighting incorporate so many different eleleading more than 10,000 walkers Seminar Venue Jacob K. ments. The Live Your Best Life events from the Intrepid to Times Square, Javits Convention Center Walk Staffing Lipari have previously been limited to a Winfrey took the stage and conProduction Group day of seminars with magazine cluded the weekend's festivities. Walk Venue Times Square contributors--finance expert Suze --Michael O'Connell The Big 1-O 34 bizbash.com july/august 2010 PHOTOS: CHRIS ECKERT PHOTOGRAPHY/� HARPO INC., GEORGE BURNS/� HARPO INC. Sir Paul McCartney performed two songs with the Loma Mar Quartet. PHOTOS: TONY BROWN/IMIJINATION PHOTOGRAPHY The gala dinner was held in the ornate Great Hall of the Library of Congress. Lorne Michaels and Jerry Seinfeld, the official ceremony's M.C., were also on hand to celebrate McCartney. Though many of the music stars were in town to perform in the East Room tribute concert For its Gershwin Prize, the Library the next day (which aired July 28 on PBS), the of Congress hosted a private night had its own lineup: The Loma Mar Quartet, concert with Paul McCartney. who worked with McCartney for his "Working Classical" album, and Chinese pianist Lang Lang The Coolidge Auditorium at the opened for McCartney, who took to the stage and WASHINGTON Library of Congress was home performed acoustic versions of "Yesterday" and to rock royalty on June 1 as Sir Paul McCartney "Blackbird." Gershwin Prize for played an intimate private concert to celebrate Following the Popular Song Gala being named the third recipient of the Gershconcert, all of the atwin Prize for Popular Song. Overseen by James tendees were ushered Dinner and Concert H. Billington, the librarian into the Great Hall for Additional Staffing Wright Music & Productions of Congress, the gathering the gala dinner. While was a run up to the official McCartney and sever- Audiovisual Production Regan Music System ceremony at the White House al high-profile guests Catering Grand Cuisine on June 2 and clearly was one dined at a rectanguCaterers Event Management Lisa of the hottest tickets in town, lar head table, the D. Frazier as the room was filled with rest of the guests sat Flowers Grand Floral & famous faces from music at round tables with Design and Hollywood along with rose, peony, and raLighting Atmosphere Lighting a sizable contingent from nunculus centerpiecMenu Cards Creative Congress. es from Grand Floral Parties Ltd. Among the musical and Design. The vegPhotography Imijination heavyweights in attendance etarian four-course Photography Printing Linemark, were Herbie Hancock, Paul meal--McCartney is Minuteman Press Simon, the Jonas brothers, a strict vegetarian-- Rentals Party Rental Ltd. Faith Hill, Elvis Costello, Dave was catered by Grand Valet Federal Valet Grohl, Stevie Wonder, Jack Cuisine Caterers. Venue Library of Congress White, and Emmylou Harris. --T.J. Walter Beatle Mania Coming Soon EVE NTS MEE TING S MAR KET ING STY LE STR ATE GY IDEA S Washington 2009 $4.95 SUMMER BIZBASH WASHIN GTON SUMMER 2009 BIZBASH.COM Event Planners of the Year Audiovisual Production/Staging Last-Minute Holiday Party Ideas NEW! Meeting Venues There's A Better Way Northern Virginia Venues Advertorial: Rental Company Directory The Best Job Board in the Business FIND JOBS / POST JOBS / GET BACK TO WORK Beautiful English gardens overlooking a rose-wrapped reflecting pool Charming Plantation Home Spectacular Breathtaking Sunsets from the Views Overlooking Glass-Enclosed the Potomac River Atrium MONTPELIER MANSION Laurel, Maryland 301-953-1376 OXON HILL MANOR Oxon Hill, Maryland 301-839-7782 Elegant settings can make an ordinary event extraordinary! The grandeur, charm and ambiance of our exceptional venues will delight you. Experience treasured historic sites, intimate banquet rooms, spectacular sunsets from a glass-enclosed atrium, and/or views of breathtaking gardens through floor to ceiling French doors. Private rooms for two or ballrooms for more than 200 are available for receptions, holiday parties, board meetings, small retreats and more. NEWTON WHITE MANSION Mitchellville, Maryland 301-249-2004 RIVERSDALE MANSION Riverdale Park, Maryland 301-864-0420 PRINCE GEORGE'S BALLROOM Landover, Maryland 301-341-7439 SNOW HILL MANOR Laurel, Maryland 301-725-6037 BILLINGSLEY MANOR Upper Marlboro, Maryland 301-627-0730 Experience our elegant settings, located 30 minutes from Washington D.C., Baltimore and northern Virginia. DARNALL'S CHANCE Upper Marlboro, Maryland 301-952-8010 SHOWPLACE ARENA Upper Marlboro, Maryland 301-952-7900 PRINCE GEORGE'S SPORTS & LEARNING COMPLEX Landover, Maryland 301-583-2670 The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Department of Parks & Recreation, Prince George's County, Maryland www.pgelegantsettings.com � 301-446-3240 TTY 301-446-6802 Happier Holidays End-of-the-year gatherings haven't been a top priority over the past few years, but they are still an important way to show appreciation. Here are ideas from real holiday parties and the people who plan them. By LISA CERICOLA PHOTOS: JUAN CARLOS BRICENO/FOTOBRICENO(HARGROVE), COURTESY OF FIREFLY LA, ALLAN ZEPEDA(IAC), HENRY LIN (REGENT PARK) Combining elements of Christmas and Hanukkah, Toronto's Regent Park School of Music staged a Chrismukkah benefit with a modern winter look. McNabb Roick (416.703.1000, mcnabbroickevents.com) hung oversize snowflakes, stars, and icicles while Westbury National Show Systems (416.752.1371, westbury.com) lit the room in shades of blue and purple. Decor Hargrove Inc. (301.306.9000, hargroveinc.com) transformed the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's H Street headquarters into a rustic ski lodge complete with a 20- by 30-foot faux stone fireplace, a lifelike stuffed moose head, six-foot-tall wooden reindeer, and a massive Christmas tree. STEAL TH IS I D EA Large-scale projections brought a winter setting to sunny Los Angeles for DirecTV's annual holiday party. Firefly LA (323.571.1447, fireflyla.com) and the Hand Company (818.843.2402, thehandcompany.com) projected snow-covered forests, icicles, and other scenes onto a 120- by 140-foot tent on DirecTV's campus. New York-based Internet company IAC hired Frank Alexander (212.677.5176, frankalexandernyc.com) to capture the Viceroy Santa Monica's sophisticated cabanas with green and white rentals from Taylor Creative Inc. (888.245.4044, taylorcreativeinc. com) and colorful, arty lighting by Glow Design Group (646.201.9557, glowdesigngroup.com). "When decorating a conference room, make the table the central focus by creating a runner installation. Use white plush fabric adorned with white and silver ornaments. Incorporate height by propping white feather mini trees on either side of the table, which can be adorned with a touch of red. If the office has glass windows, you can create a bigger statement by designing holiday graphics that frame your table-runner installation." Shai Tertner, president, Shiraz Events, New York and Miami (212.255.7001, shirazevents.com) bizbash.com fall 2010 39 Employees of Astellas Pharma U.S. Inc. teamed up with Total Event Resources (847.397.2200, total-event.com) to celebrate the season by building 48 bicycles for children from Chicago Youth Centers, a local nonprofit organization. About 40 kids showed up at the end of the event to surprise the company's staffers, who then surprised them with their new bikes. Activities Instead of a single evening of festivities, Minnetonka, Minnesota-based Carlson Companies held 12 days of events. Activities included an employee-cooked progressive meal that took place over several floors and an office-wide scavenger hunt with clues via e-mail throughout the day. Prizes included an iPod Touch, a Sleep Number bed, and box seats at a Bon Jovi concert. Joffrey Ballet's Nutcracker family dinner in Chicago had kid-friendly touches including apple cider and Sprite cocktails, strolling magicians, and an activity station with a branded Lego tower provided by "brick artist" Beth Weis (847.494.5346, bethweis.com). STEAL TH IS I D EA "We hired My Party Impressions (416.963.8302, mypartyimpressions.com) to provide a flip book station, which was a huge hit at the event. The guests had a blast creating their own unique scenes, and it was a great take-home for them as well." Laura Bryce, account executive, High Road Communications, Toronto PHOTOS: PAUL STEVEN PHOTOGRAPHY (OFFICE DEPOT), COURTESY OF CARLSON, MATTHEW KAPLAN PHOTOGRAPHY (ASTELLAS), ERIC CRAIG FOR BIZBASH (JOFFREY), RICK AGUILAR STUDIOS (CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL), COURTESY OF PRECISION EVENT GROUP, BIZBASH (HIGH ROAD) Entertainment At a holiday-themed event to celebrate the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Event Architects (888.365.4511, event-architects. com) brought in a pair of professional ice skaters who performed on an elevated skating rink. STEAL TH IS I D EA "Last year we were on a tight budget, so we hired Precision Event Group (310.285.0420, precisionus.com) to turn one of our parking lots into a dance club complete with DJ--who was spinning from above the crowd on an industrial staircase--and, of course, a disco ball. Our employees loved it." Pam Byrne, executive director, studio services, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Los Angeles The South Floridabased Office Depot Foundation held a holiday party with a tropical theme. Boca By Design (561.447.3349, bocabydesign. com) brought in live flamingos, parrots, and other creatures from Rainforest Aviaries and Gardens (305.246.5930) and Jesse Williams Ranch (305.238.5437, jessewilliamsranch.com) for photo ops and atmosphere. 40 bizbash.com fall 2010 PHOTOS: JEROME ENO FOR BIZBASH (STYLE BOSTON), VICTORIA JACOB (URBANDADDY), MIREYA ACIERTO FOR BIZBASH (CHOCOLATE), COURTESY OF BLUE PLATE, NIKKI LEIGH MCKEAN FOR BIZBASH (CAPITOL C), COURTESY OF EATERTAINMENT At a holiday party hosted by Style Boston and Boston Magazine, the Catered Affair (781.982.9333, thecateredaffair.com) served tuna tartare with wasabi aioli on a tray accented with wheatgrass and peppers--traditional Christmas colors on unexpected objects. Food & Drinks STEAL TH IS I D EA Online magazine UrbanDaddy held a holiday party for its New York readers with a dessert bar piled high with macaroons, cakes, and other sweets from several local bakeries. STEAL TH IS I D EA "It's back to basics: comfort food with an air of sophistication for our clients this year. Gourmet grilled cheese is in high demand. We serve spicy Genoa salami and aged cheddar with tomato and green apple and Brie with crushed walnuts and watercress." Sebastien Centner, director, Eatertainment Special Events and Catering, Toronto (416.964.1162, eatertainment.com) Match Restaurant (905.850.5699, matchyyz. com) created a menu inspired by fairy tales and 1960s op art, the theme of Torontobased marketing agency Capital C's party. Psychedelic trays held chicken dipped in gooseberry-plum sauce. At the AIDS Foundation of Chicago's holidaythemed World of Chocolate event, guests sipped vanilla- and cinnamon-spiced hot chocolate from mini pipettes by the Signature Room at the 95th (312.787.9596, signatureroom.com). "It's the return of the specialty cocktail. We don't foresee clients returning to the luxury bar packages, but rather sticking with beer, wine, and soda, with a specialty drink added for creativity and variety." Loren Johnson, sales consultant, Blue Plate Catering, Chicago (312.421.6666, blueplatechicago.com) Capital C's event also had seasonal cocktails like Santa's Beard (white chocolate liqueur, half and half, a hint of peppermint, and crushed candy canes). Blue Plate's Red Sombrero incorporates tequila, Sprite, pink grapefruit juice, kumquats, and pomegranate seeds. bizbash.com fall 2010 41 READER SURVEY The New Reality These days event strategists are facing an evolving set of expectations, from tighter budgets to an increased respect for the power of face-to-face gatherings. To gauge the ramifications of the changes, we surveyed a group of BizBash readers--including in-house and independent planners--about how they're working through these challenging times. Here's a look at their responses. RESPONDENT PROFILE (In-house planners) Department Less than one year 0.2% Tenure More than 20 years 14.6% Finance/Procurement 0.5% Human Resources/Training 1% Owner 1% Administrative 6.1% Events and Meetings 68.4% 1-5 years 27.5% 11-20 years 29.4% Other 7.5% Marketing/ PR/Sales 15.6% 6-10 years 28.2% Events/Meetings Planned Per Year More than 200 3.6% 51-200 15.3% Annual Budget $50,000 $100,000 12.6% Less than $50,000 8.5% Fewer than 6 20.4% 21-50 21.4% $100,001 $250,000 15.3% $250,0001 $500,000 16.0% $500,001 $1,000,000 16.5% More than $1,000,000 31.1% 6-20 39.2% Methodology: The survey of BizBash subscribers was conducted online in conjunction with Finch Brands, from March 15 to March 26, 2010. Of the 843 respondents who completed the survey, 48.9 percent were in-house event/meeting planners, 28.1 percent were event/meeting planners at independent firms, and 23 percent were event vendors. bizbash.com fall 2010 43 THE NEW REALITY Budgets Are the Big Challenge Staff layoffs and departmental changes 14.1% Greater financial scrutiny 13.6% What's the most difficult part of your job today? (In-house planners) Shrinking budgets 36.0% Shorter lead times 11.4% Less organizational support 8.5% Greater process complexity 5.1% Staying on top of the industry 7.3% Budgets Are Down, Pressure Is Up To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements about event planning today as compared to two years ago? (All planners) 5=Strongly agree, 0= Strongly disagree 4.35 4.10 4.08 3.92 3.54 3.37 2.31 e re s uut ed to su ha egic urc alc sh nc ult res ini ee e c ely tso r fic es ing trat p b b ou e dif nn re s dim to urat ve ore ts re nde now n ev as ha pla ds ts is m esul ent e mo ee e acc mo atte eh e ha e n r s r W re t ere dg Ev com .I . o tim It i ract Th show Bu R.O ed m Lead mo be att to lat Events Are Expected to Drive Business How are events used as a part of your organization's overall marketing strategy? (In-house planners) to t ke nd nts lly y ou ing s ve na ma ve ica teg ab l e les ain ship tio to ucti rs s typ stra na sa isi n se le ert ion ts rod t t n p tio qu tio no ing e u sa en lat ve va ate ac l e re e cat te nt are et oti mul er nera lie ify r na mo du ula ts mark M sti m e C id er s en o e stim l sto d g Int rker Ev rt of to gt so Cu man o nin cts to w pa i de Tra du o pr 61.0% 44.1% 41.6% 41.5% 38.3% 17.7% 44 bizbash.com fall 2010 THE VENDOR SELECTION PROCESS Planners Re-evaluate Vendors Regularly... How often do you re-evaluate the following types of vendors each time you plan an event? (All planners) e nu Ve r t t s g g g g n en en fin rin tio tin tin ion eco uc em lat taf ate igh inm gn/D Ten S L C ag Re ta rod c P si an ter bli al De En tM Pu isu en ov Ev di Au 68.7% 68.2% 68.1% 63.4% 63.4% 62.5% 59.4% 59.2% 55.0% 53.9% ...But Not Formally 76%-100% What percentage of the time do you issue R.F.P.s to vendors for events with more than 100 attendees? (All planners) 14.8% 0%-25% 51%-75% 16.2% 45.7% 23.3% 26%-50% Planners Consider Many Factors 4.61 How important are the following factors when selecting vendors for your events and meetings? (In-house planners) 5=Very important, 0= Not important at all 4.32 4.32 4.27 4.26 4.26 4.13 4.09 3.98 3.83 3.14 t s d n n rs rs st st ty es en ice tio ne do ecial t li ere ectio Co nu erv clien off uta agem f ve lan r ven p s sp n of ins her p the n s rep or n o lutio te or' pe ral ma atio nd ot l si co nd ho so ne of c Ve e Ve ds ica of om ll wit Lo ge s r ys an Ea r's ity kf Ph we ge do ac tiv en db rea ran ork V C Fee to w ad y Bro ilit Ab bizbash.com fall 2010 45 Food & Restaurant Events 1. Rammy Awards Gala The Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington made EVENTS Every year, these gatherings keep the region's businesses and charities going strong. Here's our look inside the biggest events on the area's annual calendar. By T.J. WALTER Politics may take center stage for most of the year, but the nation's capital is also a hub of arts, entertainment, and plenty of charitable giving. From the international-pressdrawing White House Correspondents' Association dinner to the Safeway BBQ Battle that drew more than 100,000 spectators, these are the events that the media reports on each year, corporations clamber ON BIZBASH.COM to back, and philanthropists make a point to attend. Here's Our Top 100 lists from a look at those who proved that when the going gets tough, years past, plus reports from many of these events events can go on--sometimes, more successfully than ever. 2. Washington, D.C. International Wine and Food Festival This 11th annual four-day show featured more than 280 domestic and international winemakers at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center on February 11 to 14. There were wine seminars for attendees, and several of Washington's top chefs held cooking demonstrations. 3. Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show Paula Deen, Tyler Florence, the Neelys, and Giada De Laurentiis are just a few of the big-name chefs that made the trip to Washington for this show alongside more than 250 exhibitors. The event returns to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on November 13 and 14. 46 bizbash.com fall 2010 PHOTOS: TONY BROWN/IMIJINATION PHOTOGRAPHY (RAMMY AWARDS), BIZBASH (WINE AND FOOD FESTIVAL) WASHINGTON'S TOP 100 a format change to its June 6 recognition event for area restaurants. In lieu of presenting awards during a seated dinner, the honors were presented during a theater-style seated ceremony, which was followed by a buffet dinner in an adjacent ballroom at the Marriott Wardman Park. Some 1,500 guests attended. Literary Events "Best Of" celebration on July 21. Hargrove and A. Dominick Events transformed the National Building Museum into a gourmet fair complete with carnival games, stilt walkers, and oversized lollipops. 4. The Week Opinion Awards Dinner Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein, The New Republic's Jonathan Chait, and The Pittsburgh Post Gazette's Rob Rogers were honored at The Week's seventh annual awards dinner on April 15 at the W Washington. White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel was the guest speaker. 5. The PEN/Faulkner Awards for Fiction Gala After considering more than 350 novels, Sherman Alexie's War Dances received the top prize in fiction writing on May 8 at a gala dinner at the Folger Shakespeare Library. Previous winners of this prestigious peer-juried literary prize, which comes with a $15,000 award, include John Updike, E.L. Doctorow, and National Book Festival The 10th anniversary event in a raw industrial space, Washington Philip Roth. of this festival is scheduled for September 25 Life went for a more refined, elegant location, 6. Scripps National Spelling Bee The competion the National Mall. More than 70 authors are gathering 400 people at the historic Washing- tion began with 273 spellers but only one scheduled to attend, including Ken Follett, Rae ton Club to toast the 250 under-40 notables in could be named the champion, as 14-year-old Armantrou, and Julia Glass. Last year, 130,000 politics, society, arts, and business. Anamika Veeramani was in a live broadcast on attended. 3. Washingtonian's Best of Party [New to the ABC on June 4. The competition is held each 2. Washington Life's "The Young and the Guest List] More than 60 of Washington's top restau- year at the Washington Grand Hyatt and the List" Party [Up from 3] After hosting last year's rants offered their best dishes at this annual 2011 enrollment begins in August. 1. PHOTOS: TONY BROWN/IMIJINATION PHOTOGRAPHY (WINE AND FOOD FESTIVAL), COURTESY OF NATIONAL BOOK FESTIVAL, PAUL MORIGI/NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION (TREE LIGHTING) 4. Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation Taste of the Nation sold out for the second straight year and again attracted 1,200 foodies to the National Building Museum on April 12. Guests tasted from 60 of the area's top restaurants while raising more than $124,000 for local hunger-fighting organizations. National Harbor Wine and Food Festival The third annual festival expanded to two piers in National Harbor on June 12 and 13. The growth allowed planners to add a few more exhibitors and offer existing ones room to grow. With a new social media presence, organizers saw a fourfold increase in pre-festival online sales and increased attendance by nearly 2,000. 6. Safeway BBQ Battle [New to the List] More than 100,000 people filled nearly eight blocks of Pennsylvania Avenue for the 18th annual BBQ competition and festival on June 26 and 27. The Safeway sampling pavilion housed more than 30 food sponsors, and two live music stages were also on hand. Next year's battle will take over the same space on June 25 and 26. Holiday Events event to promote its health and wellness initiatives, with a theme of "Ready, Set, Go." 3. A Capitol Fourth Reba McEntire, David Archuleta, Lang Lang, and Darius Rucker took to the stage on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol for the 30th anniversary of the concert that is broadcast live on PBS. 1. Christmas in Washington [Up from 5] Pageant of Peace/Lighting of the NaPresident Obama and the first lady, Michelle tional Christmas tree The first family kicked Obama, attended the 28th annual Christmas off the holiday season on December 3 with in Washington concert on December 13 at a concert and a lighting ceremony on the the National Building Museum. Mary J. Blige, Ellipse. Some 2,800 members of the public Justin Beiber, Neil Diamond, Sugarland, and had the chance to watch the festivities up Rob Thomas performed classic holiday tunes close and see the massive tree and the 56 while host George Lopez kept the crowd smaller trees that decorate the area around of 500 entertained with politically the Ellipse. charged jokes. 5. Memorial Day Concert Brad Paisley, Lionel 2. White House Easter Egg Roll Using the Richie, and a variety of military bands and same online lottery system as last year, choruses played for a capacity crowd on May 22,000 tickets were handed out to families 30 on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol to across the country for the annual Easter egg celebrate and remember the service and sacroll on April 5. The White House also used the rifice of all the men and women in uniform. 5. 4. bizbash.com fall 2010 47 Arts & Entertainment Events 4. BET Honors Awards Ceremony Black Entertainment Television's third annual ton's highest-profile celebration of African-American achieveevents, this annual ment headed to the Warner Theatre on celebration recogJanuary 16. Whitney Houston, Queen Latinizes individuals for fah, Sean "Diddy" Combs, educator Ruth their contributions Simmons, and neurosurgeon Keith Black to American culture. were awarded for their contributions. In 2009, the event 5. Will on the Hill [Up from 7] Members honored Mel Brooks, of Congress and many senior staffers took Dave Brubeck, Grace to the Harman Center for the Arts stage Brumby, Robert De Niro, on April 26 for the eighth annual Will on and Bruce Springsteen. the Hill fund-raiser. The sold-out affair, which The president and first included a cocktail reception, dinner, and a perforlady were on hand for mance of "The Play's the Thing," raised $267,000 the performance, after for the Shakespeare Theatre Company's artistic, hosting the honorees education, and community programs. at a previous White 6. SilverDocs Film Festival More than 22,000 House ceremony. The 2010 Honors ceremony is attendees screened over 100 films from 52 scheduled for December 5. countries during this weeklong internation2. Ford's Theatre Annual Gala A sold-out crowd ally renowned documentary film festival held and the first family took in performances from June 21 to 27. Oliver Stone was one of the many Kelly Clarkson, Ren�e Fleming, Lionel Richie, and directors on hand to screen their new films at Dick Van Dyke at the historic theatre on June 6. the American Film Institute Theatre and Cultural Archbishop Desmond Tutu and South African Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. Constitutional Court Justice Albie Sachs were 7. Virgin Mobile Festival This annual music feshonored with the theater's Lincoln Medal. tival switched venues in 2009, taking over the 3. National Design Awards Luncheon [Up from Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Mary5] Tim Gunn offered the keynote address at this land, for a day of live music from Weezer, Blink White House Luncheon on July 21 that serves as 182, and many others. The festival also became a prelude to the National Design Awards, which known as the Virgin Mobile Freefest in that all will be handed out in New York on October 14. tickets were free, but concertgoers were encourJoining the first lady in the East Room was a aged to donate $5 to youth homelessness. The who's who of leading designers along with the 2010 festival on September 25 will once again be finalists and award winners. a free event at the same venue. 1. ors One of Washing- Kennedy Center Hon- 8. Artomatic [Up from 10] Last year marked the 10th anniversary for Artomatic and the free monthlong art festival took over a new and vacant office building in Southeast Washington last May, June, and July. More than 70,000 visitors had the opportunity to see nine floors full of visual art as well as theater and musical performances. The next festival is tentatively scheduled for late 2010. 9. FotoWeek [Up from 11] Now in its third year, this weeklong photography festival features a juried exhibition, gallery openings, book signings, lectures, and an awards gala honoring professional, amateur, and student photographers across several genres. The Corcoran Gallery of Art will be the new home of FotoWeek 2010, which kicks off November 6. 10. FilmFest DC Screening more than 80 films at a variety of embassies, theaters, and museums across Washington, this movie festival attracted nearly 25,000 attendees from April 15 to 25. The 25th anniversary of the festival is tentatively scheduled for April 2011. from 4] This year marked the 50th anniversary of this landscaping-focused event that attracts Washington more than 20,000 people to the Walter E. Auto Show Washington Convention Center. Next year, the More than 42 show returns to the convention center March 10 domestic and through 13. international 4. Association of the United States Army Anautomakers nual Meeting & Exposition [Up from 5] Open showcased only to active, reserve, and guard members of over 700 vehi- the Army, this annual professional development cles during this forum at the Walter E. Washington Convenfour-day expo tion Center will focus on "America's Army: The at the Walter Strength of the Nation" when it gathers on E. WashingOctober 25 to 27. ton Convention Center. Highlighting the show 5. D.C. Spring Antiques Show From antique jewwas the 65,000-square-foot green pavilion that elry to decorative art, hundreds of artists display displayed the latest in alternative power sources. their wares for four days at the Washington ConThe 2011 show is set for January 28 to February 6. vention Center. Next year's show is scheduled for 2. NBC4 Health and Fitness Expo In January early March. 2010, Today co-anchor Hoda Kotb and Biggest 6. Adventures in Travel Expo [Up from 7] More Loser contestant Abby Rike joined more than than 9,000 people had the chance to get vaca85,000 Washingtonians for the 17th annual tion advice from Arthur Frommer and author health fair, which showcased everything from Patricia Schutz at this two-day travel show in cooking demonstrations to an alpine ski simula- February. The expo will return to the Walter E. tor. The expo returns to the Walter E. WashingWashington Convention Center on March 12 ton Convention Center on January 15 and 16. and 13. Trade Shows 3. Washington Home and Garden Show [Up 1. 7. Smithsonian Craft Show [Up from 8] One of the country's most prestigious juried craft shows and exhibitions, the 2010 event at the National Building Museum had 1,300 applicants from 30 states. The next show is set for April 14 to 17. 8. Yacht Show [Up from 9] The venerable Washington Boat Show canceled its 2009 outing due to the economy, but local sailing fanatics still had this second annual event to look forward to. About 10,000 people were expected for the May 29 to 30 show, held at the National Harbor complex in Prince George's County, Maryland. 9. Washington Craft Show [Up from 10] The work of 190 of the nation's top craft artists is on display at this annual show, scheduled for November 19 to 21 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. 10. Washington Antiques Show [Up from 11] Now in its 55th year, the show on January 8 to 10 at American University's Katzen Arts Center featured 44 dealers offering a wide range of furniture, vintage jewelry, and decorative arts. 11. Washington National Cathedral Flower Mart [Up from 12] While flowers are the main draw, this event at the Washington National Cathedral also features a variety of local artisans and vendors. The 2011 event is scheduled for May 6 and 7. 48 bizbash.com fall 2010 PHOTOS: BIZBASH (AUTO SHOW), DANIEL SCHWARTZ (KENNEDY CENTER HONORS), TONY BROWN/IMIJINATION PHOTOGRAPHY (ARTOMATIC) Political & Press Events 1. State of the Union Address Despite never changing venues and having one of the most secure guest lists in town--only members of Congress and a few invited guests-- the State of the Union is one the most talked about events in Washington and across the country. 2. White House Correspondents' Association Dinner Commonly referred to as "nerd prom," the annual dinner has become a magnet for Hollywood stars as news outlets try to outdo one another with controversial and headline-grabbing guests. Comedian Jay Leno was the featured speaker at the May 1 dinner at the Washington Hilton, which garnered 2,000 politicians, journalists, and celebrities. The dinner has also gained recognition for the array of pre- and post-parties hosted by media outlets throughout the weekend. 3. Washington Press Club Foundation's Congressional Dinner [Up from 6] Members of Congress, elected officials, and the diplomatic corps mixed and mingled with members of the press corps at the 66th annual congressional dinner on April 21 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski served as M.C.s for the evening as Senator Claire McCaskill and Congressman Mike Pence squared off for a comedic off-the-record debate. 4. Conservative Political Action Conference [Up from 7] Thousands of conservative members of congress, lobbyists, and pundits gathered at the Marriott Wardman Park on February 18 to 20 to discuss the future of the conservative agenda at this conference. C.P.A.C. returns February 10 to 12. 5. AIPAC Policy Conference [Up from 8] Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and nearly 7,500 activists and lobbyists came together for the meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee from March 21 to 23 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. 6. The Africare Bishop John T. Walker Memorial Dinner [Up from 11] John Legend was honored at this dinner for more than 1,200 guests, who raised more than $1 million in one night. The 2010 dinner, scheduled for November 5 at the National Building Museum, will honor Nelson Mandela. 7. Alfalfa Club Dinner [New to the List] A members-only club that exists solely to host one annual event, Alfalfa was founded in 1913 and counts members of Congress and former Presidents among its small membership. Its annual black-tie gathering held each spring is off-limits to reporters and usually features a speech from the current president. Obama spoke his first year but decided to skip in 2010, breaking a chain that dated back to Jimmy Carter. 8. Human Rights Campaign National Dinner [Up from 14] President Obama was the featured speaker at this gay rights group's fund-raising event, which also welcomed the cast of Glee, Lady Gaga, and nearly 3,000 guests. The 2010 dinner is set for October 9 at Walter E. Washington Convention Center. 9. Radio and Television Correspondents' Association Dinner Rounding out the trio of journalist-and-politician dinner dates, the R.T.C.A. dinner moved over to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in 2010. Vice President Joe Biden stole the show with a host of somewhat controversial one-liners. 10. Gridiron Club Dinner Former President Bill Clinton filled in for President Obama at the 2010 white-tie dinner on March 20 at the Renaissance Hotel. Obama remains the only sitting President not to speak at the "singe, not burn" comedic dinner for several decades. 11. Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Annual Legislative Conference [New to the List] Recognized as one of the most important gatherings of African-Americans leaders in the U.S. , the 2009 event at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center included more than 70 workshops on issues pertinent to African Americans. The 40th annual conference takes place September 15 to 18. 12. National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation Celebration of Service to America Award Radio and TV stations from around the nation will be honored for outstanding community-focused programming at this annual ceremony, slated for June 14, 2011, at the Hyatt Regency Washington. 13. America's Future Now! Conference Hundreds of progressive leaders and activists came together at the Omni Shoreham Hotel from June 7 to 10 for four days of debates, planning sessions, keynote speeches, and a gala event awarding top progressive thinkers. 14. Atlantic Council's Dinner Awards [New to the List] The non-partisan international affairs organization honored Bill Clinton and Bono at its annual dinner awards at the RitzCarlton on April 28, awarding them for their humanitarian work around the globe. 15. National Governors Association Winter Meeting First lady Michelle Obama urged governors to get serious about the issue of childhood obesity during their three-day meeting February 20 to 22. The 2011 meetings are scheduled for February 26 to 28. 16. U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting The first lady also spoke to 250 of the nation's mayors about childhood obesity at the 78th annual gathering, held each January at the Capital Hilton Hotel. Legg Mason Tennis Classic Sports Events 1. superstars like Andy Roddick and Lleyton Hewitt have headlined this U.S. Open Series tennis event at the William H.G. Fitzgerald Tennis Center in Rock Creek Park. More than 72,000 fans took in the action from July 31 to August 9. 2. Washington Kastles Tennis [New to the List] Joining the World Team Tennis League in 2008, the Washington Kastles are the newest franchise in the 10-team league, which plays a four-week schedule in 10 cities during July. Venus and Serena Williams anchor the Washington squad and are consistently the biggest draw at Kastles Stadium, a 2,020-seat temporary stadium built on the site of the former Washington Convention Center. Legg Mason Tennis Classic Tennis PHOTOS: STREETER LECKA FOR GETTY IMAGES (LEGG MASON), WASHINGTON POST/GETTY IMAGES (MARINE CORPS MARATHON), STEPHEN ELLIST/MUD PRODUCTIONS FOR BIZBASH (LADY GAGA) 3. Marine Corps Marathon [Up from 4] Although the race is limited to 30,000 runners, more than 100,000 spectators line the 26.2-mile course that begins in Northern Virginia and winds through Northwest Washington, Foggy Bottom, and the National Mall before concluding at the Marine Corps Memorial in Arlington. 4. Preakness Stakes More than 100,000 people made the pilgrimage to Baltimore's Pimlico Race Course on May 15 for the 135th running of the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of horse racing's Triple Crown. Hometown rockers O.A.R. and country act the Zac Brown Band headlined the pre-race concert. 5. SunTrust National Marathon The only marathon fully run within the District of Columbia, this annual race has grown each year to attract more than 12,000 runners in its fifth year. This year also marked the first half-marathon competition. Next year's race is set for March 26, 2011. bizbash.com fall 2010 49 Benefits 1. The Opera Ball [Up from 2] On May 21, the Washington National Opera's signature benefit took over the Embassy of the Russian Federation for the first time. The black-tie affair raised $1.5 million for the Opera and was the talk of the social year with its themed rooms that became a journey through Russian culture and history. The 2011 ball is scheduled for June 3. 2. Knock Out Abuse and Fight Night Gala For this two-party event, 1,500 men started out the evening at the Fight Night gala at the Washington Hilton, while just a few miles away 650 women gathered at the Ritz-Carlton for the Knock Out Abuse gala, which has raised more than $5 million since 1993. The two groups joined up at midnight for a dance party at the Ritz-Carlton. The dual fund-raisers for antidomestic-violence causes and the health care nonprofit Fight for Children return November 11. Corcoran Ball [Up from 4] Unlike the past twoyears, the 55th annual Corcoran Ball on April 17 had no overall theme, but each of the eight spaces was designed to reflect a current exhibit within the gallery. Close to 900 people attended the event, which benefits the Corcoran and the College of Art & Design. Next year's ball is scheduled for April 29. 4. The Leukemia Ball [Up from 6] Jackson Browne and comedian John Pinette entertained the crowd of 2,000 on March 27 for this ball at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The event, put on by the National Capital Area chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, raised $3 million for continued research. 5. John F. Kennedy Center for the Arts Spring Benefit [Up from 7] This year's benefit was a celebration of Kennedy Center founding chairman Roger Stevens, hosted by Liza Minnelli. More than 1,500 guests attended the May 2 dinner and concert, which raised more than $2 million. Performances from the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Broadway stars rounded out the evening. 6. Fight for Children's School Night Benefit [Up from 8] Queen Latifah pulled double duty as headliner and M.C. for this 10th annual fundraiser, held on April 23 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. The event raised $800,000 for education programs for low-income children in Washington. 7. Prevent Cancer Foundation's Annual Spring Gala [Up from 9] More than 700 guests gathered at the National Building Museum on March 12 for the 16th annual gala, which raised $1.3 million. Inspired by a different country each year, the event's theme was "Indelible Impressions of India" and was again designed by David Tutera. 8. National Italian American Foundation Gala Jimmy Kimmel served as master of ceremonies 3. at N.I.A.F.'s 2009 gala, which celebrated Italian Americans Janet Napolitano, Lidia Matticchio Bastianich, and Carla Gugino and raised more than $1 million. The 2010 gala is slated for October 23 at the Hilton Washington and will feature E News anchor Giuliana DePandi Rancic as M.C. 9. Washington National Opera Midwinter Gala [Up from 11] Due to budget considerations, the opera's seventh annual midwinter gala switched formats and venues this year to bring nearly 400 people to La Maison Francaise in the French embassy (instead of the Mellon Auditorium) for an "Evening in Paris" cocktail reception with tasting stations (rather than a seated dinner). 10. Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Breath of Life Gala [Up from 12] The 2009 gala at the National Building Museum on November 14 drew 750 guests. The three-part evening included a silent auction and cocktail reception, a seated dinner and live auction, and "Club Breathe," a temporary nightclub for after-hours dancing. The 2010 gala returns to the same venue on November 13th. 11. Gourmet Gala Benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital [Up from 13] St. Jude's largest Washington event featured tasting stations from 37 of D.C.'s top chefs at the National Building Museum on February 16. Over the past 12 years, the event has raised more than $2 million for the hospital. Washington Ballet Spring Gala [Up from 14] The annual gala on May 13 took over the Swedish Ambassador's residence and attracted 500 guests, including a variety of diplomats, members of congress, and well-heeled admirers of the ballet. 13. Trust for the National Mall Luncheon and Ball on the Mall Gala [Up from 28] More than 850 people raised $1.5 million at the May 6 luncheon for the nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and restoring the National Mall. The next night, the trust's young professional branch, the L'Enfant Society, hosted the Ball on the Mall, an 800-guest gala that raised an additional $350,000. 14. Washington Ballet Jet� Society Dance Party [New to the List] Held at a different embassy each year, this fashionable party is hosted by the Jet� Society, a group of young professionals dedicated to raising funds for the Washington Ballet. The April 23 event at the House of Sweden raised $500,000 from about 500 attendees. 15. Heart of America Foundation's Sweet Charity Benefit More than 60 local chefs showcased their talents by creating sweet and savory bites for 900 guests at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on June 21. The fund-raiser benefits the Heart of America Foundation, which provides books to at-risk children. 16. Sibley Memorial Hospital Hope and Prog- ress Gala [New to the List] Local sportscaster George Michael was the keynote speaker last year, just six weeks before he died of cancer. Michael helped raise $1 million that night. The 10th anniversary gala is scheduled for November 6 at the National Building Museum. 17. Artrageous More than 500 guests descended on the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Kogod Courtyard on February 27 for this annual benefit. Special guests included former Project Runway contestant Nick Verreos and artist Karen LaMonte. 18. March of Dimes Gourmet Gala Thirty Members of Congress and their spouses served their best recipe at this annual congressional cook-off at the National Building Museum on April 14. The event raised nearly $1 million for the March of Dimes. 19. Ambassadors Ball The unofficial kickoff for the fall gala season, this 2009 ball attracted nearly 750 attendees and raised more $700,000 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The 32nd annual event is planned for September 14 at the JW Marriott Hotel. 20. Meridian Ball After dining at 25 embassies and diplomatic residences around Washington, more than 600 guests gathered at the historic Meridian House on October 3, 2009, for this 41st annual ball that raised $900,000 for the center. Designer David Stark drew inspiration from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and decorated the party with a variety of red, white, and black polka dots and stripes. 21. N.F.L. Players Gala Fifteen past and current professional football players were honored for their off-the-field service at this 2010 gala at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on April 14. The event raised close to $1 million for the Special Olympics. 22. Harman Center for the Arts Gala This gala on October 25, 2009, raised more than $900,000 and featured a performance of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream along with a special ceremony honoring Sir Ian McKellan. The 2010 gala on October 3 will honor Annette Bening at the Harman Center, followed by dinner and dancing at the nearby National Building Museum. 12. 50 bizbash.com fall 2010 PHOTOS: TONY BROWN/IMIJINATION FOR BIZBASH 23. Phillips Collection Annual Spring Gala Four hundred art lovers raised $520,000 on May 7 at this modern art museum during their yearly chance to dine and dance among the masterpieces. 24. Washington Humane Society Bark Ball [Up from 32] The only black-tie event in Washington that welcomes man's best friend brought 600 people and 400 dogs to the Hilton Washington on June 5 for an evening of cocktails, dinner, and dancing that raised $283,000 for the Washington Human Society. Parades, Walks & Festivals typical two-day event into a one-day mega festival on September 11 on the National Mall. The event is set to attract close to 250,000 people. 4. Capital Pride Parade and Festival With the theme of "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet," this 10-day celebration of gay pride in early June attracted nearly 200,000 people to more than 60 events throughout Washington. 5. Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure More than 40,000 runners and walkers took to the 3.1-mile course National Cherry Blossom Festival From around the Mall on June 5 to raise more restaurants to museums, almost the entire than $4.5 million for women battling cancer. Washington community celebrates the Registration is already open for the 2011 race 3,000 cherry trees that decorate the tidal on June 4. basin. And nearly one million visitors come 6. Rolling Thunder On Memorial Day to the capital region each year to experiweekend, more than 400,000 veterans and ence the hundreds of events and exhibits supporters gathered in Washington to raise during the two-week festival in late March awareness of American prisoners of war. and early April. Next year's festival kicks off Events included a candlelight vigil, a wreathMarch 26. laying ceremony, and the "Ride for Freedom," 2. Smithsonian Folklife Festival The Smitha motorcycle ride that begins at the Pentasonian's Center for Folklife and Cultural Heri- gon and ends at the Lincoln Memorial. tage sponsors this festival on the National 7. Smithsonian Kite Festival Thousands Mall that attracts nearly one million specta- of kites filled the air on March 27 for this tors. The 2010 event, which ran June 24 to 28 44th annual event. Though many come out and July 1 to 5, focused on the bicentennial just for fun, awards are handed out in 36 of Mexico's Independence . categories, including people's choice and 3. National Black Family Reunion For its aerodynamics. The event coincides with the 25th anniversary, the National Council National Cherry Blossom Festival that kicks of Negro Women elected to compress its off on March 26, 2011. 1. 25. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre Gala The dance company celebrated the 20th anniversary of artistic director Judith Jamison's tenure with a special opening night performance on February 2 at the Kennedy Center. The 2011 gala is scheduled for February 1. 26. Muscular Dystrophy Association's Heartsongs Gala Typically held in the spring, the eighth annual Heartsongs Gala, which raised more than $800,000 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association in 2009, has moved to November 13 at the Ritz-Carlton, Washington D.C. 27.Washington Performing Arts Society Gala Broadway star Chita Rivera headlined the 41st annual gala on May 8 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, attended by over 600 guests. 28. Corcoran 1869 Society Fall Fete [New to the List] The Corcoran went with a nautical theme for its 2009 fall fete, held October 24 at the gallery. The sold out, black-tie affair attracted almost 900 young people with nearly $90,000 in proceeds going to the Corcoran's ArtReach program. 29. Folger Shakespeare Library Gala Inspired by the Folger Theatre's spring production of Hamlet, the April 20 gala celebrated Shakespeare's famous work with a special performance, followed by a dinner in the library's elegant reading rooms. The gala raised $250,000 and will return in 2011 on April 13. 30. Capital Area Food Bank Blue Jeans Ball One of the few casual dress events in Washington, the March 28 Blue Jeans Ball brought more than 500 to the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. Breaking previous records, the event raised $217,000 for the Capital Area Food Bank. 31. American Red Cross Fire and Ice Nearly 600 guests made their way to the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium on October 17 for this blacktie/mess-dress fund-raiser for the American Red Cross of the National Capital Area. PHOTOS: TONY BROWN/IMIJINATION FOR BIZBASH (ALVIN AILEY), JEWEL SAMAD FOR GETTY IMAGES (CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL), MOSHE ZUSMAN (FASHION FOR PAWS) 1. for the Washington Humane Society. 2. Nordstrom's Designer Fall Preview Nordstrom hosted its annual designer preview at its Tysons Corner location on June 17. The event welcomed more than 350 V.I.P. guests, including Vogue European editor-at-large Hamish Bowles, who got an up-close look at new styles from Jason Wu, Missoni, Versace, and many other top designers. 3. D.C. Fashion Week [Up from 4] Now in its 12th year, this biannual fashion event brings together local Washington Humane Society Fashion and international designers for two weeks for Paws Runway Show [Up from 3] Local of runway shows and networking events. celebrities and society types took to the runway at the Italian Embassy for the fourth Designers will showcase their fall/winter collections September 20 to 26 at a variety annual people-and-pets fashion show. The lively event for 1,2000 people raised $372,531 of locations throughout Washington. Fashion & Beauty Events bizbash.com fall 2010 51 New York PHOTO: THOMAS LOOF The High Life Standard New York By ANNA SEKULA ON BIZBASH.COM/NEWYORK 2010 bizbash national venue guide 151 Where Event Professionals Announce the Who, What, Where, and Wow of the Events Industry Capital Party Rentals is pleased to announce that the company has handled the Tenting for Party Rental Ltd. is pleased to announce that the company has handled the Rentals for The Washington Ballet Purple Rain Ball in Washington, DC, May 13, 2010 703.661.8290 www.capitalpartyrentals.com Gershwin Prize for Popular Song Gala Dinner and Concert in Washington, DC, June 1, 2010 301.931.4580 www.partyrentalltd.com Renaissance Mayflower Hotel is pleased to announce that it hosted the Classic Party Rentals is pleased to announce that it donated a calling card to a GI oversees for each order received during the month of July, in celebration of our nation's birthday. Happy Birthday to us all!!! 212.752.7661 www.classicpartyrentals.com White House Correspondents After Party in Washington, May 1, 2010 202.776.9150 www.renaissancemayflower.com CORT Event Furnishings is pleased to announce that the company has handled the Furniture Rentals for Holly Heider Chapple Flowers Ltd. is pleased to announce that the company has handled the Flowers for ISES Table Top Design Challenge in Washington, DC, June 28, 2010 888.DRAPE.ME www.cortevents.com Celebrating America's Heritage With Madeleine and T. Boone Pickens in Washington, DC, May 20, 2010 703.777.8227 www.hollychappleflowers.com/ Occasions Caterers is pleased to announce that the company has handled the Catering for DC Rental is pleased to announce that the company has handled the Rentals for The Washington National Opera Ball May 21, 2010 in Washington, DC 202.546.7400 www.occasionscaterers.com The Washington National Opera Ball May 21, 2010 in Washington, DC 703.671.7300 www.dcrental.com To share your success via the BashFlash program, contact your BizBash sales representative or Robert Fitzgerald at 646.839.6840. The Directory A selection of resources from our comprehensive online directory of event and meeting suppliers and venues New Venues BARS & LOUNGES BUDDHA-BAR EQUINOX The Washington outpost of Buddha-Bar opened in May. The 9,500-square-foot restaurant and lounge in Mount Vernon Triangle has 22-foot ceilings and an 18-foot-tall signature Buddha sculpture in the center of its 170-seat main dining room. In addition to sushi, the Pan-Asian menu includes curry shrimp in banana leaves and wokfried beef. The bar stocks 27 sakes. The lounge seats 50, as does a recently added outdoor caf�. (455 Massachusetts Ave. NW, 202.377.5555) FUNXION surrounded on three sides by 5,000 square feet of landscaped terraces and sweeping country views. The main level has a natural stone fireplace and can seat 100. The lower level includes a catering area with a refrigerator and freezer. Total capacity for indoor receptions is 180. (42169 Mayhew Lane, Chantilly, Va., 703.967.9148) Closed after a devastating fire in 2008, this awardwinning restaurant reopened in April with lighter, more modern decor and a recalibrated menu. Chef Todd Gray and his wife/co-owner, Ellen Kassoff Gray, have replaced the dark paneling in the private 12-seat wine room with frosted glass walls for an airy look and feel. This space includes a 100-seat dining room, and an outdoor area holds 40. (818 Connecticut Ave., 202.331.8118) GALILEO III PRIVATE CLUB VETRO Loaded with high-tech eye candy and modern decor, the 1,800-square-foot health-conscious bar and eatery FunXion opened downtown in March. A flight of stainless steel steps takes guests to the rear mezzanine, where seating includes low red and white banquettes and composite-stone-topped tables. The menu's health-conscious burgers, pizzas, sandwiches, and salads contain no added salt, butter, oil, or sugar. FunXion is available for full buyouts for as many as 150. (1309 F St. NW, 202.628.8820) ONE LOUNGE Open since spring 2010, Vetro is a 1,400-square-foot members-only lounge and event venue on the mezzanine of the Tower Building. The space features a 12-seat stainless steel bar on one side and Barcelona sofas, chairs, and adjustable cocktail tables on the other. Audiovisual capabilities include a wall of five projection screens with overhead projectors, a powerful sound system, and a DJ booth. Vetro holds 200 for a reception, seats 80, and can be combined for full buyout with Lima Restaurant to accommodate more than 800. (1401 K St. West, 202.789.2800) Chef Roberto Donna was slated to open Galileo III in the former Butterfield 9 space in August. The 80-seat restaurant will include a flexible 45-seat private dining room. Decor details in the 6,100-square-foot space involve a fireplace in the entry and an open kitchen. In addition to the chef's seasonal menu of traditional Italian fare with a modern, lighter touch, 100 pre-order dishes, such as suckling pig, will be available on the restaurant's Web site. (600 14th St. NW) IL CANALE RESTAURANTS AGAINN TAVERN The 6,300-square-foot One Lounge opened in December 2009. The bilevel venue's first floor has four flexible rooms and a small eight-seat bar area adjacent to its largest space, a long and narrow 60-seat atrium. The upstairs study can hold 55 for receptions. The small-plate menu brings together dishes from central, eastern, and southern Europe. There is a 35-seat terrace, and the entire lounge holds 250. (1606 20th St. NW, 202.299.0909) RECESS Event promoters Fisayo Esconsay and Brandon Howard opened this 1,100-square-foot lounge on the lower level of an office building in December 2009. The cozy space, dominated by a DJ booth constructed from a massive walnut slab, has dark wood floors and rod-scheme panels on the walls. In addition to nine stools at the black tiled bar, flexible seating options include love seats and contemporary cocktail tables. Full buyouts are available for 200 guests. (727 15th St. NW, 202.637.7667) TWISTED VINES Open since June, this gastropub from TheWhisk Group is a Rockville outpost of Againn in D.C. Reflecting its Maryland location, the 8,100-square-foot space, formerly a Houston's restaurant, serves items such as a crab cake sandwich. The tavern features two semiprivate rooms and can be reserved for receptions of 50. The entire venue seats 215. (12256 Rockville Pike, Rockville, 301.230.9260) AGORA Where to... Get Out of Town Owned by Sicily native Giuseppe "Joe" Farruggio, Il Canale, a 95-seat Italian pizzeria, opened in February. This 1,200-square-foot bilevel venue is modern in design and has the look of an art gallery. In addition to the oven, the main dining room has an open kitchen, an eight-seat bar, and a textured stainless steel staircase that leads to the 50-seat private dining level and 40-seat terrace. The menu includes pastas, risottos, steaks, and seafood. Il Canale is available for full buyout. (1063 31st St. NW, 202.337.4444) KUSHI Opened in early March, Twisted Vines is a 1,100-squarefoot wine bar and shop in the redeveloping Columbia Pike Town Center neighborhood, south of the Pentagon in Arlington. This 45-seat venue includes dark wood dining tables and highboys and a 10-seat granite-topped bar. More than 20 wines from small producers around the world are available by the glass, and more than 100 are sold by the bottle. Twisted Vines is available for full buyout. (2803 Columbia Pike, Arlington, 571.482.8581) Open since May, this 170-seat restaurant and bar offers Turkish and Greek dishes prepared in a wood-fired oven or over a charcoal grill. Brick archways separate the 76-seat main dining room from the bar and lounge. An upstairs expansion can seat 48 for private dining in this 960-square-foot eatery. A patio seats an additional 34 guests. (1527 17th St. NW, 202.332.6767) BISTRO PROVENCE HOTEL WASHINGTON HILTON After undergoing a three-year $150 million renovation, the Washington Hilton reopened in June, north of Dupont Circle. The upgrade included new guest rooms, meeting spaces, common areas, restaurants, and health club. Two new function spaces were added. On the terrace level, the 30,000-square-foot Columbia Hall features a series of movable walls that allow for the space to be tailored to a variety of group sizes. The nine-room Heights Executive Meeting Center offers groups dedicated meeting space. (1919 Connecticut Ave. NW, 202.483.3000) Created by Yannick Cam, the Frenchman who introduced Washington to nouvelle cuisine in 1979, Bistro Provence opened in April. The 34-seat restaurant in a stillunder-renovation town house offers a menu of classic dishes from the south of France. A 40-seat private dining room with its own kitchen and terrace is on the second floor, as well as a trellis roof. It is available for partial or full buyouts. (4933 Fairmont Ave., Bethesda, 301.656.7373) BOND 45 INDEPENDENT EVENT SPACES FATHOM GALLERY PHOTOS: TK PHOTO: BIZBASH This 1,865-square-foot Fathom Gallery opened as a bilevel event venue in early January near Logan Circle. The lobby of this restored redbrick building consists of a 450-squarefoot room with three floor-to-ceiling pivoting glass doors that open onto the street. The upper level gallery has reception space for 100. There is also a 2,000-square-foot roof deck and garden. Fathom Gallery is available for a full or partial buyout. (1606 20th St. NW, 202.588.8100) SUNSET CREST MANOR In January, Fireman Hospitality Group opened this 7,500-square-foot, 275-seat Italian steak and seafood house on the waterfront at National Harbor. For private dining, Bond 45 offers four glass conservatories, including the chef's table, which seats 12. Three additional conservatories each accommodate up to 28 and a separate wine room seats 30. There is also patio seating. Bond 45 is available for full buyout. (149 Water St., National Harbor, 301.839.1445) Reopened in April under new ownership and after a full renovation, the Blue Rock Inn is a cozy hilltop restaurant, bar, and guesthouse on 80 acres of Rappahannock County farmland near Washington, Virginia. Both the decor and the menu are contemporary French country. With a capacity for 150 guests, the converted early 1900s farmhouse has a 36-seat main dining room, a 12-seat private dining room, and a 25-seat bar, all with woodburning fireplaces. French doors from all three rooms open onto a spacious, partially covered flagstone terrace with sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The inn's first level also has a small library and an adjacent meeting room. Upstairs, there are four guest rooms. (12567 Lee Highway, Washington, Va., 540.987.3388) Open since March, the 96-seat Kushi is a casual Japanese gastropub in Mt. Vernon Triangle. The 4,000-squarefoot venue is divided into three areas: a bar with more than 30 kinds of sake; a 30-seat open-kitchen robata bar that serves up charcoal-grilled meat, fish, and vegetables; and a 14-seat sushi counter. The design is Tokyo influenced and features reclaimed-wood bars, large paper lanterns imported from Japan, and 18-foot ceilings. Kushi is available for full or partial buyout. (465 K St. NW, 202.682.3123) MUSSEL BAR BY RW Chef Robert Wiedmaier (Marcel's, Brasserie Beck, Brabo, and Brabo Tasting Room) expanded his empire to Bethesda with Mussel Bar by RW in July. Guests will find a 130-seat interior composed of rustic wood with polished cement floors in this 4,000-square-foot Flemish gastropub. The menu consists of delicacies such as mussels four ways, woodfired savory tarts, and more than 40 Belgian beers. (7262 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda, 301.215.7817) PING PONG DIM SUM OPENING SOON CUBA LIBRE RESTAURANT & RUM BAR Packing plenty of steam power and modern in design, this 238-seat restaurant and bar opened in December 2009 in Penn Quarter. The 6,100-square-foot venue is the first U.S. outpost for the British chain, which has 14 locations in the U.K. Best suited for sharing, the menu focuses on sweet and savory Cantonese-style steamed buns, dumplings, and traditional shu mai, all cooked in an open kitchen. There is a semiprivate room that holds 50 for receptions and seats 36. (900 7th St. NW, 202.506.3740) Opened in late 2009 near Dulles Airport, the 82-acre Sunset Crest Manor offers a 6,000-square-foot barn In September, Penn Quarter will welcome the more than 9,000-square-foot Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar, which features 1950's Havana decor and live entertainment. Staff will serve innovative Latin cuisine in a 200-seat dining room decorated with murals of Cuban life. Plans call for a 50-seat bar and lounge with an extensive rum selection and a 66-seat sidewalk caf�. (801 9th St. NW, 202.408.1600) SEASONS Long hailed as the city's top spot for power breakfasts, Seasons restaurant in the Four Seasons Hotel became available in January 2009 for afternoon and evening events for the first time since its inception in 1979. The 4,200-square-foot space can seat 100 or accommodate 350 for cocktails; an adjacent terrace can hold 40. (2800 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 202.342.0444) bizbash.com may/june 2010 55 bizbash.com fall Ted Kruckel Music Is the Answer What's your question? The other day I threw a little party in a fashion showroom for a luxury leather line called Aeon New York that I am helping to launch. Mostly it was people I know really well, but I had invited a few fashion editors and socialites, too. I wanted it to be simple but chic, and I wanted people to have fun, let their hair down. A party in a showroom can be deadly if it is too fussy: items sitting neatly but forlornly on little shelves, people afraid to touch anything. I was hoping people would take a drink, eat a chocolate, and finger the merchandise with abandon. I called ahead to make sure the showroom had Wi-Fi. My latest partymusic trick is, I load a bunch of music videos onto a YouTube playlist and then just hit autoplay. You get a custom mix, plus a little visual entertainment. I throw in some live versions and old TV segments (my favorite is the medley Tina Turner did with Cher as a guest on the latter's variety show) so that it doesn't feel like an MTV throwback. Of course, at the last minute, the Wi-Fi didn't work, so one of the girls helping lent me her iPod. At first I tried to work with her list, but I just couldn't, so I ceded the whole music thing and hoped for the best. The party went well: the editors and the socialites showed, the friends and family drank and ate, the merchandise got fingered as hoped for. A few times during the evening I would hear the music--I remember the Beatles wafting by and liking it--but I never cranked the volume. I couldn't get behind the vibe. For me, a party isn't a real party unless the people dance and break a few glasses. Everything else is just foreplay. I went to my friend Laura's wedding a few weeks ago. She used to be a professional "party motivator." She and her troupe were hired to attend big events and get people to dance and participate. So she brought along an M.C., a tall, handsome guy with a top hat who danced and worked the mic from the floor, along with a sax player who accompanied the music with a tiny wireless mic clipped to the rim of his instrument. I had never seen this particular combo before, and I write about parties for a living. It could have been a disaster, but they were both so good, there was never a dinner break, you just ate when you were tired. We've all been to events where the opposite happens. The saddest are charity benefits when they have a big dance floor in the middle of the room but they let the speakers go on too long. As soon as they can, guests bolt for the door, except for the handful who don't have to work the next day. Crestfallen event organizers have to listlessly mill about the clueless gyrators, wishing they could just break down the tables while the band soldiers on through its play list. Or worse, they just go ahead and do. I was going to write about my favorite DJs, like Victor Calderone and Mark and Samantha Ronson. I used to love Dimitri from Paris, and played his A Night at the Playboy Mansion CD until every song skipped. One summer on Fire Island, we lived next door to Susan Morabito, and she would come home at 5 a.m. from spinning at the famous Pavilion and--too wound up from her set--she'd do a cooldown mix for about two hours at 20 decibels. We liked it, I guess, but then we didn't really have a choice. I even toured with Prince once. Long story. His thing was to do a big concert, and then he'd do a word-ofmouth set at some hole-in-the-wall the same night that kicked off at 4 a.m. And after that, he liked to chew the fat with some serious background sounds. Exhausting. Whenever I like the music, I go and introduce myself to the DJ, who invariably proffers a sample CD. But when I play them in my car, they have nothing to do with what I remember and I get all confused. Maybe I don't know what I like. Or what's good. That's because great party music is lightning in a bottle: You can't catch it twice. That doesn't mean that you can't play the same songs. One of the best DJs is Tom Finn. He is known for being able to get people to dance and keep them dancing. He often starts with Barry White. It works. Here's what works for me: 1. Lots of small speakers are better than two giant ones. 2. Most bands play too loudly. 3. An imperfect singer often benefits from a little more reverb. 4. Music bullies--that is, guests who move in to control the sound-- have to be dealt with quickly and directly. "I won't try to control the music when I come to your house" is often my opening salvo. Once, I had a music bully's car towed. 5. I honor requests only when they come from a guest of honor or the life of the party. I make the policy clear to prevent grousing. 6. Start with a consistent lead-in vibe. At the beginning of an event, don't go all choppy-changey. I like a low-key lead-in. My favorites are Grace Jones, the Style Council, and Art of Noise. 7. Club music only works in clubs. Many gay friends have a hard time understanding this. 8. Plan a moment. Just because an evening isn't big-time produced doesn't mean you can't plan a moment. Dim the lights. Open a door to a new room or area. Pass something flaming. Then play your go-to song. 9. Thanks to The Marriage Ref, the reign of Madonna is finally over, right? Lady Gaga is now queen. Long live the queen. But I still sneak in Ray of Light once in a while. Where Ted's Been Lilly Pulitzer textile designers provided lovely and interesting entertainment at the Museum of Natural History's Museum Dance. Later their works were auctioned off. The Archeological Institute's servers wore painted masks. Oooooh. The flock descending the stairs was quite the scene at the Central Park Conservancy's 28th annual hat luncheon. Let the preening begin! 56 bizbash.com july/august 2010 fall 2010 PHOTOS: C. CHESEK/CAMNH, ANDRE MAIER (ARCHEOLOGICAL INSTITUTE) , NICK HUNT/PATRICKMCMULLAN.COM (CENTRAL PARK CONSERVANCY) ALWAYS 4 S T E P S A H E A D PA R T Y R E N TA L LT D. WWW.PARTYRENTALLTD.COM TETERBORO, NJ RED BANK, NJ PENNSAUKEN, NJ NEW YORK, NY BRIDGEHAMPTON, NY LOCUST VALLEY, NY GREENWICH, CT NEW PRESTON, CT PHILADELPHIA, PA LAUREL, MD BALTIMORE, MD WASHINGTON, D.C.