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New York & Los Angeles $4.95 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2010 BIZBASH.COM


5 Security Nightmares (and How to Avoid Them)

New York’s Top 100 Events Keeping Award Ceremonies Fresh Plus: Stylish Bar Stools, New Venues & Updated Chocolate Desserts

The Latest in Lighting Innovative Ideas From Parties, Concerts, Art Installations & More


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Awards Presentations Bar Mitzvahs Bat Mitzvahs Banquets Concerts Conferences Corporate Events Debates Dinners Educational Programs Exhibitions Film and Video Presentations Film Screenings Film and Television Broadcasts Galas Holiday Parties Lectures Live Broadcasts Location Shoots Meetings Multimedia Presentations Music Recitals Parties Live Performances Press Conferences Product Launches Readings Receptions Seminars Symposia Television and Radio Broadcasts Trade Shows Video Conferences Weddings Workshops

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NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES January/February 2010 © 2009 BizBash Media On the Cover At the Whitney Museum of American Art’s gala and studio party in New York, a huge floral installation created an Edenic backdrop to the dinner. Photographed by Alice and Chris for BizBash.

The launch party for Vevo, a Web site that allows consumers to watch music videos for free, was held in December at Skylight New York, where video projections welcomed guests, lounge groupings provided seating, Bono addressed the largely rich and famous crowd, and Lady Gaga performed. More photos from the event are on

FROM THE EDITORS 13 Predictions for the coming year READERS’ FORUM 17 What do you look for in a vendor? THE SCOUT 21 A light, airy canopy 22 A new twist on traditional chocolate desserts 24 For rent: bar stools 26 How do you enliven award shows? 28 Los Angeles florist Juliet Flores 30 How planners interpreted three popular themes at recent events 32 Cautionary tales of event security gone awry 34 New York event producer Production 911 36 Six retail promotions to get people shopping


VENUES 38 Four of New York’s newest event spaces 40 L.A. spots for premieres, presentations, and private dining DESTINATION REPORTS 42 Five new options for downtime dinner or drinks in Las Vegas 44 Four Orlando restaurants for groups large or small EVENT REPORTS 49 From Los Angeles: Alien effects at Fox’s Avatar premiere party 51 From Los Angeles: Michael Jackson documentary’s largerthan-life premiere and party 52 From New York: Louis Vuitton’s lush garden party on the third floor of Saks 54 From Los Angeles: Dudamel’s pan-Latin welcome from the Philharmonic 56 From New York: MoMA’s whimsical/creepy Tim Burton film tribute 59 From Los Angeles: Hello Kitty’s 35th birthday pop-up 60 From New York: Continental’s big reveal for the Star Alliance

62 From New York: A lush landscape at the Whitney; Sony’s va-va-va-voom Vaio launch 65 From Los Angeles: The Hammer’s growing Gala in the Garden 66 From Toronto: Holt Renfrew’s holiday window unveiling From New York: Victoria’s Secret Pink’s fragrance preview 68 From Washington: The glittery national tree lighting ceremony From Chicago: Food & Wine’s entertaining showcase 70 From Orlando: Financial Harvest’s autumnal client dinner 72 From Boston: Faulkner-Sagoff Centre’s fund-raising fashion competition 74 From Miami: A look at the action surrounding Art Basel 77 From Toronto: An op-art fairy tale at Capital C’s holiday party 83 New York’s Top 100 Events A roundup of the Big Apple’s biggest annual undertakings, from business gatherings to society benefits 91 Bright Spots New and inventive lighting designs, as seen in tents, concert arenas, and more 96 Privacy Settings Ten options for intimate group meals on either coast THE DIRECTORY 98 New New York venues 99 New Los Angeles venues TED KRUCKEL 104 Good hosts know that a proper greeting goes beyond checking names off a list

ON BIZBASH.COM Comprehensive local venue and supplier directories The latest industry news january/february 2010 5

BIZBASH EDITOR IN CHIEF Chad Kaydo MANAGING EDITOR Libby Estell NEWS EDITOR Courtney Thompson STYLE EDITOR Lisa Cericola ASSOCIATE EDITORS Michael O’Connell, Anna Sekula








CONTRIBUTORS EDITOR AT LARGE Ted Kruckel WRITER AT LARGE, LOS ANGELES Irene Lacher CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Mimi O’Connor, Brendan Spiegel CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Sara Neuffer, Meryl Rothstein, Andi Teran LOS ANGELES: Lesley Balla, Shilpa Gopinath, Sharon Knolle TORONTO: Amy Lazar, Erin Letson WASHINGTON: Adele Chapin, Walter Nicholls, Danielle O’Steen COPY EDITOR Josh Wimmer CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Brad DeCecco, Vincent Dillio, Roger Dong, Nick Ferrari, Marina Fragosa Senra, Emily Gilbert, Dan Hallman, Miha Matei, Don Minchillo, Alice and Chris Ross CHICAGO: Tyllie Barbosa, Barry Brecheisen, Eric Craig LOS ANGELES: Matt Armendariz, BEImages, Sky Cassidy/Red Dawn Media, Nadine Froger, Alen Lin, Line 8 Photography, Zen Sekizawa, Dale Wilcox MIAMI: Moris Moreno TORONTO: Gary Beechey, Jill Kitchener, Henry Lin, Nicki Leigh McKean, George Pimentel WASHINGTON: Tony Brown/Imijination Photo, Renée Comet, 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 305.893.8771 TORONTO BUREAU 1 Thorncliff Park Drive, Suite 110, Toronto, ON M4H 1G9 416.425.6380 CONTACT US Editorial Feedback and Ideas: Event Invitations and Press Releases: Directory Listings: Subscription Inquiries: 866.456.0517 (toll-free) or 845.267.2170, New Subscriptions: Subscription Renewals: Reprints: Dani Rose, The YGS Group 800.494.9051 ext. 125, 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

4008 LA Biz Bash National Venue Guide FNL indd 1

10/28/09 4:28:25 PM







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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 Brandi McAlister


BIZBASH BOSTON 617.340.3914

('&:,(gYHigZZi!CZlNdg`!CN&%%'&$+)+)''"((&- ^c[d5Wd]Zb^VccVi^dcVa]Vaa#Xdb!lll#Wd]Zb^VccVi^cVa]Vaa#Xdb

BIZBASH CHICAGO 312.436.2525 PUBLISHER Susan Babin ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Megan Wienstroer BIZBASH FLORIDA 1450 NE 123rd St., North Miami, FL 33161 305.893.8771 PUBLISHER Ann Keusch ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Leslie Rose BIZBASH LAS VEGAS 702.425.8513 ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Jessica Slama BIZBASH LOS ANGELES 310.659.9510 PRESIDENT Elisabeth Familian PUBLISHER Hofite Huddleston SALES ASSISTANT Mondi Valiyee

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Marketing and Advertising Programs: visit for a schedule of exclusive exhibitions and venue information. to speak with an event planner, e-mail or call 323 857-6039.


Today it’s all about ROI Return on investment is paramount today — just ask my clients. My donors and investors expect the highest quality experience, and why shouldn’t they? So when it comes to entertaining, I simply can’t cut corners. I have to do it right. That’s where Abigail Kirsch comes in. They are consummate professionals who know how to cater to a client’s every need — like creating a custom crafted menu fashioned after our new product launch. In the simplest terms, they get it and get it done right. In an imperfect world, one thing I can count on is a return on my investment. Now that’s saying something. Lisa – Director Special Events

From the Editors


Thoughts for a New Year As we begin 2010 (and a new decade), it seems like a good time to look to the future and ask, what’s next? In December we invited event professionals to send their predictions for the new year in Twitter-friendly 140-character bites. While voicing some diverse views of where the industry is headed, the responses we received from more than 70 planners and vendors coalesced into a portrait of the topics we’re likely to be thinking about in the coming According to our months. You’ll find 57 of their panel of pros, in comments online, and my own 2010 we’ll see lots speculation here: of metallic decor Budgets will come back— accents, as seen but not so fast. Marketers who at recent events get it will continue to spend hosted by (from money on events because top to bottom) the they know how powerful Miami Art Museum, such gatherings can be. And Diffa Chicago, and companies that have kept their the Royal Ontario remaining employees holed up Museum in Toronto. in the office doing the work of directly with consumers. two people will eventually need to train them Going green is evergreen. If 2007 was the at a meeting and/or motivate them with an incentive trip. But most people expect this to be a year everyone finally started talking about ecofriendly events, in 2009 coming in under budget slow, steady increase. was the indisputable, well, bottom line. Now Social media will get smarter. Those of a focus on green methods that save money— us who have been monkeying around with Facebook, Twitter, and the like will explore more reusing materials, scrapping unnecessary and effective ways to promote events, connect people wasteful flourishes—will become standard. We’ll all focus on value. Why will a C.E.O. during events, and get instantaneous feedback. approve an event budget? Why will a planner Publishing a hashtag to all guests will become hire a particular caterer? Why will a company commonplace for hosts who want to promote pay to send employees to a conference? Because their gatherings; hosts looking to clamp down on leaks about internal meetings will get serious, someone has made a compelling case for why each action is worthwhile. too. And the folks who keep meaning to ask Lead times aren’t the only things shrinking. their interns to explain what a tweet is will finally As attention spans dwindle, so will the amount get on board. The mandate will change from of time allotted to speeches, general sessions, “We need to be on there” to “We need to figure venue walkthroughs, load-ins. Mostly this is out what people want from us here.” challenging for folks behind the scenes, but Whether any of us will be on Twitter in five it’s also better for guests. Each time I gave a years is an open question, but we’ll be able to presentation at a BizBash trade show in 2009, I publish thoughts and opinions instantly somecrammed a speech that could easily last an hour how. And that will continue to affect events. into 25 minutes. It was always better for the Marketers will adjust their target audiences. We’ve already seen events geared toward consolidation. I wish you luck in navigating these changes. bloggers. Now guests with thousands of Twitter I hope we can help, in followers and Facebook friends will become a ON BIZBASH.COM these pages, on BizBash. new sort of V.I.P. Looking beyond the media com, and at our own and traditional “influentials” who attend every 57 Predictions From Event Pros for 2010 party in town, brands will hit the road to interact events. —Chad Kaydo

Signature Event Rentals t.718.629.6909

Readers’ Forum

What do you look for in a vendor?

“A mixture of style, sophistication, international experience, and high responsiveness.” Anja Kaehny, manager of lifestyle communications and corporate social responsibility, Audi America, Miami

“Flexibility. I need to know that a vendor is always going to deliver what they say they will and that they will be as flexible as possible. Things are always changing for clients, especially in this economy, and I need to know that the vendors understand that and are prepared to work with it.” Liz King, owner, Liz King Events, New York

“The most important factor is how well the vendor can interpret my direction and recapitulate it back for me with their own unique expertise, verbally or visually.” Sandra Novas-Garcia, co-owner, Siinc Agency, Miami

“It’s really project-dependent, but there are always three things I look for: the ability to offer something unique measured against their quality of work, a great network of extended relationships, and [a willingness to] work hard to save me money.”


Patricia Latkin, director of national events, Bell Canada, Toronto

“If the vendor has to spend some time with the client, like a photographer at an event, I try to match their personalities. If the subject feels comfortable in front of the camera, the pictures will come out well.” Sabrina Cadini, owner, La Dolce Idea, San Diego

“I recommend always asking to attend an event a new vendor is working on to see them in action.”

“Ownership. There’s nothing better than having a partner who starts working with you on the day of initial contact. Knowing your project is as big a priority for them as it is to you is a great feeling, so you can slam on the accelerator without having to look back too many times.”

Gillian Hoff, vice president of special events, Design Exchange, Toronto

Ivan Hernandez, field marketing manager, Red Bull, Miami

“Quality, price, level of service, and how well they negotiate. I also evaluate how well they listen to my needs and translate the information to a contract, invoice, etc. Does the vendor do what I want or what they want? Do they offer suggestions or do they stick to protocol?” Arleen Edwards, event coordinator, National Urban Fellows, New York

“Personality. It’s basic, but if I can’t work with a vendor, then their body of work and referrals don’t matter.” Stella Inserra, creative director, Simply Dazzling Events L.L.C., New York

Compiled by CLAIRE HOFFMAN january/february 2010 17

MY NEW FAVORITE THING “I sent out WPI’s holiday message to our clients using Constant Contact (800.221.2705,, [an email marketing service]. It’s easy to use and a very economical way to let our clients know what we’ve been up to and to inform them of new services, out-of-the-box events, and more.” Marcy Manley, C.E.O., WPI Event Partners, Chicago

My Cool New Job


The Washington Humane Society recently expanded its annual Fashion for Paws runway show into a fulltime, year-round program, naming Tara de Nicolas its executive director. De Nicolas, previously the society’s director of marketing and communications, is now in charge of building off the brand already created by the main show through product merchandising, new media, Web and blog ad sales, and themed fringe events. “A lot of my new role lies outside the conventional toolbox of nonprofit fund-raising. Using Fashion for Paws as the platform, we’re able to create a greater reach to engage new supporters in the work that the W.H.S. does. Helping animals has always been a part of my personality, [and now I am able to] couple that passion with my love of marketing and fund-raising.”

WHAT INSPIRES ME “WETA co-produced Ken Burns’ latest documentary, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea. The breathtaking footage of the parks inspired me to be aware of how events can be greener. For our major donor event for the documentary, I used a green restaurant caterer. The [film inspired us] to use a nature theme at the events, with birds and animals adorning the centerpieces. It has also impacted some venue choices. Fortunately, much of Washington, D.C., is a park, memorial, or historic site, so there are a lot of options.” Barbara Blauhut, director of special events, WETA, Washington

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Tell us about your favorite new finds: Email us at

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The Scout


The new California Canopy offers light, airy shelter for indoor or outdoor events. Created by AK Johnston Production Design (866.212.2192,, the open-sided structure can be made as small as 10 by 20 feet or as large as 20 by 80 feet. The overhead fabric panels are available in transparent voile or a thicker polyestercotton blend, which diffuses natural light. For an additional fee, the company can attach lighting and speakers to the structure for surround sound. Pricing starts at $3,900 in the Southern California area, which includes installation; in other areas, prices are about 15 percent higher. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Lisa Cericola september/october 2009 21

Petits Fours Petits fours trio: smoked

Layer Cake Dark chocolate cake filled with Blue Castello cream and peppered almond crunch with Belgian chocolate glaze and port wine syrup from L.A. Spice in Los Angeles (310.670.5697,

A CHOCOLATE FIX We asked five caterers to reinvent classic chocolate desserts. They responded with creative plating and surprising ingredients like blue cheese, vanilla bean foam, and bacon. By LISA CERICOLA

Molten Chocolate Cake Erupted Chocolate Volcano with chocolate cake cubes, warm chocolate-hazelnut ganache, candied walnuts, and Tahitian vanilla bean foam from Toben Food by Design in Toronto (416.659.5139, tobenfoodby

22 fall 2009

Cupcake Chocolatewrapped red velvet cake topped with whipped cream and served with dark chocolate mousse and cookies from Alchemy Caterers in Washington (240.242.9040,

Ice Cream Sundae Million Dollar Sundae with mascarpone-topped German chocolate cake, Dutch cocoa, chocolate with burgundyinfused cherries, and Swiss white chocolate ice creams and a spun sugar garnish from Entertaining Company in Chicago (312.829.2800, entertaining


New on the Menu

goat-cheese-filled truffle with white chocolate and caramel, peanut and pretzel macaroon with beer caramel, and miniature bitter chocolate tart with candied bacon from Hudson Yards Catering in New York (212.22.4752,


GALA FUND RAISER Feb 2007 / Cipriani 42nd Street NYC

RT /


4 NYC / Pier 5 8 0 0 2 August

CONCERT / August 2007 Keyspan Park (Coney Island) NYC


ERSARY th ANNIV a, LA VDAY 10 ns Aren ew Orlea N / 8 0 0 April 2


TONY MELCHI OR, Owner MELCHIOR PR ODUCTIONS SUBJECT One of New York ’s premier event produc ers for the past 20 years – just ask his clie nts! • Flawless execution, cutting edge technology, high-end de sign concep one-stop pr ts, oduction co mpany for ev from 100 to ents 100,000. • Works pers onally with every client throughout every event. PASSION Prod ucing perfec t events every time everywhere – from Corporate Fu nctions to Gala Fundraisers to Rock Conc erts and Festivals an d beyond...


TRADEMARKS Hands on, pe rsonal supervision from first cl ient meetin to end of lo g ad out – at every event, every time for 20 year s straight. CONTACT Tony Melchior fo r a complimentar y personal consultation . 212-288-2179 melchprod@ao www.melchior productions. com

For Rent

Choice Seats Here are 15 stools for bar seating or casual lounges.

Caiman bar stool, $120, available in California from FormDecor (714.367.9272,


Bertoia-style bar stool, starts at $95, available in New York from Bridge Furniture & Props (718.916.9706, bridgeprops. com)

Cosmo bar stool, $40, available throughout the U.S. from Room Service Rentals stool (877.577.7666, room Tribeca bar stool, starts at $55, available in the U.S. from Lounge22 (888.822.2011,

Recurve acrylic bar stool, $48, available on the West Coast from Girari Sustainable Event Furniture (310.739.7300,

Shen bar stool, $40, available throughout the U.S. from Room Service Rentals (877.577.7666, roomservice

Tag You’re It custom bar stool, $225, available in the U.S. and Canada from Fresh Wata (702.889.0935,

Chrome saddle, $70, available in the U.S. and Canada from Fresh Wata (702.889.0935,

Alta bar stool, $34, available on the West Coast from Girari Sustainable Event Furniture (310.739.7300,

Horseshoe bar stool, $208, available in California from FormDecor (714.367.9272,

Alice Pop bar stool, $45, available on the West Coast from Fête Accompli Events (323.758.5344, feteaccompli and on the East Coast from Signature Event Rentals (718.629.6909,

24 january/february 2010

Amalfi bar stool, $16.25, available in Southern California from Town & Country Event Rentals (818.908.4211, townand

Apex bar stool, starts at $55, available throughout the U.S. from Lounge22 (888.822.2011,

Gold spindle bar stool, $12, available in Canada from Exclusive Affair Rentals (416.759.2611,


Asia bar stool, $89, available in California from FormDecor (714.367.9272,

Introducing Luna

Lighting by CORT. TM

Anywhere you want. The LED Luna LightingTM Collection is available in a wide range of colors and products, including the Luna Bar.

Visit us online to view the exclusive LED Luna Lighting Collection, and create 2D floor plans in minutes with the free easy space planning tool.

Call 1.888.CORT.YES or visit

Scott Bloom at a presentation in Orlando


How do you spice up award shows? Whether they’re distributing Oscars or employee-of-the-year plaques, award ceremonies can be pretty predictable. Although a traditional format gets the job done, it doesn’t hurt to add a few surprises. After five years in New York, Travel & Leisure moved its annual Design Awards to Miami in February 2009. Pam Norwood, the magazine’s vice president and associate publisher of marketing, says the city reached out as a sponsor, prompting the move to the then newly renovated Fontainebleau hotel. “It was a perfect fit for them and us because Miami is a center point in the U.S. for design, art, and architecture,” Norwood says. Now, as other cities have expressed interest in sponsorships, the magazine is exploring new locations. At the greater Washington chapter of the International Special Events Society’s annual Capital Awards Gala in April, planners from Capital Decor & Events (240.264.1150, and Rave Reviews (301.933.7989, packed the event with surprises. After a preshow cocktail reception at which a violinist performed atop a hydraulic lift, guests helped themselves to a

buffet of flavored popcorn to snack on during the award presentation. To enliven the show itself, a Latin trio played as winners approached the stage. To conclude the program, a gospel choir sang George Michael’s “Freedom 90.” Over the years, the Fragrance Foundation’s annual FiFi awards have evolved from a seated dinner to a nightclublike party with a shorter award program. In 2007, the foundation shortened the show, ditched the dinner tables, and focused on socializing. Following the 45-minute award ceremony was a cocktail party with 30 fully furnished private lounges purchased by industry companies. “Most guests are there to talk to one another. It’s hard to do business or make acquaintances when you’re in a chair watching an award show,” says Karen Dalzell, president of Dalzell Productions (212.647.1877,, who has produced the show since 2004. In 2008, the postshow lounges returned, along with five larger areas for sponsors. Last year, working with a smaller budget, they combined the awards and party, letting guests watch the ceremony from their

Ask BizBash

26 january/february 2010

lounges, which were stocked with drinks and snacks. “I got the best feedback from that,” Dalzell says. A touch of irreverence can add some levity to an otherwise stuffy affair. Every year, the One Club for Art and Copy holds the One Show to recognize the best work in advertising. The 2009 awards spoofed the underground society that controls the awards with the theme “The Ones.” Promotional materials read, “A shadowy organization does not control the One Show. So says the shadowy organization that controls the One Show.” The One Club worked with Overland Entertainment Company (212.262.1270, overlandentertainment. com) to extend the concept throughout the show. Banners listing the tenets of the Ones (“Creativity, Creativity, Indomitable Indomitableness”) hung in the venue, an oversize portrait of the Ones in fez-like hats adorned the stage, and attendees watched a humorous video about the group’s history. “We don’t mind making fun of ourselves,” says Kevin Swanepoel, president of the One Club. “If the show is too stiff-upper-lipped, it’s not going to get people coming back.” —Lisa Cericola

Cort’s Luna Lighting collection includes tables, a bar, and pedestals.

New Glowing Furniture Cort Event Furnishings (201.392.0228, released a new line of LED furniture called the Luna Lighting collection. Items include bars, bar-height tables, and pedestals lit from within by batteryoperated LEDs that last up to eight hours. The lights come in eight colors and can be programmed to illumiR E NTA LS nate the pieces in a solid hue or change colors. Brushed stainless steel tabletops and frames give the collection a polished look and help make the pieces sturdier. Bars can be configured in circular, serpentine, or perpendicular shapes, and pedestals can be turned into tables with round or rectangular tabletops. The pieces are available throughout the U.S. and range from $56 to $600. —L.C.


Guests watched the Fragrance Foundation’s Fifi Awards from lunges.

“The Morning Show With Scott Bloom” is a new talk-show format for business meetings. Hosted by Scott Bloom (631.544.0333,, a Los Angeles-based M.C. and moderator with 15 years of experience, the program is customized to fit each client’s needs. MEE TI N GS Bloom can host scripted question-and-answer sessions or warm up an audience and turn over the stage to the presenter. Because staging and audiovisual needs are minimal, “The Morning Show” can take place in venues ranging from hotel ballrooms to large conference rooms. Pricing starts at $13,500; travel costs are additional. —L.C.

Los Angeles Fresh Face

The Constant Gardener Juliet Flores started in the flower business at 16, and now creates arrangements ranging from whimsical to modern through her own company. of lilacs and sweet peas and Casablanca lilies, transplant me to a better, happy place.” Flores makes weekly floral deliveries to offices and other venues, and has worked on events like a recent business luncheon at Spago, as well as a Renaissance-fair fund-raiser at Wonderland Flores’s design for Lucas Avenue Elementary School Salon in Echo Park in June. For the school event, Flores went for and flowers added splashes of color. a look she describes as “mom-’50s“She’s got a lot of attention to picnic—a sweet, colorful tribute to a detail, and she is the sweetest person simpler time,” mixing potted daisies you’ll ever work with. Everything is and lavender in rustic tins and bright really tasteful,” says Julie Maderpeonies in clear, shapely vases on a Cintron, the event’s co-organizer and vintage tablecloth. Old-fashioned part of the school’s parent group. “I’m candy filled a jar, and assorted plants a designer myself, and with flow-

Asian Food Tour James Beard-nominated author Robert Danhi (310.648.7970, leads groups on walking tours of Little Saigon. The chef takes guests through markets, with stops to sample treats at small shops, and to a tofu factory for samples. The tour concludes at a local restaurant, where Danhi will demonstrate a recipe from his book Southeast Asian Flavors: Adventures in Cooking the Foods of Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia & Singapore. The ideal group size is fewer ACTI V ITY than 20 people to keep everyone together; larger groups can be accommodated in a modified format. Base price per person is $100 for the tour and includes a book for everyone, tastings, and a meal. Custom A walking tour of Little Saigon tours are possible. —A.D.

28 january/february 2010

Juliet Flores ers, she totally outdoes me—stuff I never would have thought of. She was able to work well within a nonprofit budget, and she is a true professional.” Flores says, “Ultimately, you have to have your own style to stand out, and my style varies depending on the event or occasion. I can make sweet, old-fashioned arrangements or fresh, contemporary, architectural ones.” —Alesandra Dubin

STYLISH, ECO-FRIENDLY LETTERPRESS Lilikoi Design & Letterpress (562.972.1502, creates understated letterpress work, including invitations, menus, and seating cards that can be customized with any logo or message. The company implements eco-friendly practices whenever possible by operating its letterpress manually, with no electricity required. Lilikoi also uses reclaimed cotton paper I N V ITATI O N S and recycled envelopes. Turnaround time for printing is approximately two weeks after art is approved. Prices vary depending on artwork, but a one-color, one-sided 5- by 7-inch invitation with envelope starts at $6, or $7.50 for two colors; a one-color, one-sided 8.5- by 4-inch menu starts at $4; and a one-color, one-sided 6- by 9-inch event program card starts at $7. Pricing includes custom design and delivery in the L.A. area. —A.D.


Juliet Flores—whose name hints at her professional destiny—started working with flowers as part of her first real job, arranging and selling blooms from a hut in Santa Monica when she was 16. Later, she apprenticed with designers working on events at the Hotel Bel-Air and the Beverly Hills Hotel, and has taken a variety of classes in subjects such as floral and interior architectural design at local colleges to develop her technique and style. Now 40, Flores offers floral design, along with occasional event production, through her new company, Flowers by Juliet (323.719.1835). She prefers to work on events with no more than 100 guests, with arrangements starting at around $50 each. “Flowers to me are like an ode to life—they signify a celebration,” Flores says. “Their scents, like those

At Advanstar’s Magic Marketplace, a fashion trade show held in September, Disney hosted a Mad Hatter tea party in the Las Vegas Convention Center’s grand lobby.


Trend Spotted

In October, Toronto’s Bell Gala had fairy-tale decor by Solutions With Impact, with several nods to Alice, including oversize playing cards, chairs, and flowers suspended from the ceiling.

Three Themes, Three Ways Here’s how planners interpreted three popular themes at recent events. By LISA CERICOLA Paper magazine’s 25th anniversary party in September filled the New York Public Library with hats, flowers, luminarias, and other decorations made of paper.

Post-It notes were the inspiration for David Stark’s decor at the New Yorkers for Children fall gala in September. The event’s step-and-repeat, a giant tree, and some tabletop items were made of thousands of sticky notes.

WATER Designed by Windows Catering Company and Amaryllis Inc., the Washington chapter of the Commercial Real Estate Women association’s October award reception was decorated with goldfish bowls, treasure-chest table toppers, and a raw bar with a giant clamshell.

PAPER The Museum of Arts and Design held its first Paperball in October, with paper flowers, lanterns, and origami, as well as art installations using paper fashions and the museum’s exhibit “Slash: Paper Under the Knife.”

ON BIZBASH.COM For more details and photos from these events


The sea was the inspiration in a room at the Toronto International Film Festival gala in September. Designers from Party Barbara Co. used blue lighting, hanging jellyfish decorations, and vases filled with sand, shells, and sponges.

Held in September, Canada’s Walk of Fame inductee ball, designed by Kyriacou & Associates, had ripple-effect lighting, blue linens, and clear furniture.


Among David Stark’s Lewis Carroll-esque touches at Washington’s Meridian Ball in September was a red and white dessert buffet reminiscent of the Queen of Hearts.

EVENT NIGHTMARES Misunderstandings and last-minute hitches put these five events in hot water. By MICHAEL O’CONNELL Security breaches can ruin an event. Just ask the Secret Service. Unanticipated snafus—like party crashers at a state dinner—are embarrassing in the best of circumstances and dangerous at worst. But it’s the worst-case scenarios that keep planners up at night. Here are five such harrowing stories about events that went south—and what some of the producers and security professionals took away from their experiences.

Double-Booked Bouncers “One year [MTV’s Video Music Awards] were in New York. We were assigned to protect an after-party for a magazine at a restaurant in Midtown,” recalls Mike Zimet, owner of New York security firm Mike Zimet Enterprises. “The party was hosted by a famous rap artist, so immediately we knew there’d be strong interest from uninvited people to get into the party. We worked with the mayor’s office and the N.Y.P.D. about lining up on the street outside to make sure everything was smooth and the right people would get in.” Unfortunately, the venue wasn’t aware of additional security staff, and on the evening of the event, the restaurant’s owners demanded that their internal security team be in charge of arrivals and entry. “They put pressure on the client, saying that if they weren’t in control of security, they wouldn’t host the party.” The magazine’s event planner acquiesced, and a few hours later, the confusion at the door caused a near riot in the street. V.I.P. attendees were turned away, crashers snuck in, and a police task force had to come break up the crowd—all because security roles weren’t clearly defined in the venue contract. Disrespected Guests Hipster magazine Vice reportedly spent $250,000 on a combination 15th anniversary and Halloween party at a Brooklyn warehouse last year. Fans were excited enough to seek out the free tickets in the days before the party and spend much of their Halloween waiting in line to enter. But the wait was the least of the problems. Inside, security allegedly manhandled guests, tossed people out for innocuous behavior, stormed the stage during performances by Bad Brains and Titus Andronicus, and were seen to be ignoring the requests of the magazine staff. Although the party itself thinned out and attendance was nowhere near the venue’s 1,800-person capacity, security kept the line outside at a standstill.

32 january/february 2010

Vice magazine People inside and out took to the blogoHalloween party. Dead on Arrival David Stone, C.E.O. sphere in the aftermath, blaming the secuof Stone Security and owner of Global rity vendor for ruining what everyone agreed could Security Service in New York, had several decades’ have been a great event. experience working red carpet events before encountering an unexpected party crasher in 2008. The Bomb Threat “We were doing a corporate “There was a dead body right there on the red event in New York over a year back,” says Howard carpet,” Stone recalls, ”just three hours before arrivGivner, Global Events Group’s C.E.O. for North als.” A man had jumped from New York’s Queensboro America. “The day of the party, someone called the Bridge, right into an event at a venue just under the switchboard and said everyone was going to die, and bridge. “We think he was aiming for the water and that they’d blow up the whole party.” missed.” The body was right outside the entrance The police were convinced it was just a disgrunto a riverside venue that would be accommodating tled employee letting off steam with empty threats, several hundred guests that evening. “The client was but Givner didn’t feel comfortable sending guests— freaking out.” and his own staff—into a venue that hadn’t been The host considered moving arrivals, shuffling properly checked. He talked with his security vendor, guests through the back door, and even canceling, GSS Security Services, about what they needed to do but Stone thought that the matter could be handled to take appropriate measures, and then he ran the quickly and without repercussions for the party. plan by his client, who agreed. Like many large firms, Stone Security has ties to They doubled security personnel, added two police and employs off-duty officers. “My business metal detectors, and had a K-9 unit sweep for bombs partner is still an active sergeant with the N.Y.P.D.,” just before the event. He also screened each of the Stone says. “Through him, we were able to get the 1,000 guests at a checkpoint outside of the venue to investigation under way almost immediately, and keep a wide perimeter. “By the time guests arrived, bring the morgue and the medical examiner in word of the threat had spread to everyone, so we had quicker. Everything was done in accordance with the security and other staffers making announceprocedure, but we took a six-hour process and cut it ments about all of the precautions to ease their down to about two hours.” minds,” Givner recalls. “Everyone seemed really happy Barriers were brought in to block off the scene, to see all of the measures in place.” and an emergency exit was set up as an alternative entrance to the venue, but none of it was needed. Way Past Capacity Last Halloween, Michael The authorities cleared ON BIZBASH.COM out—with the body— Wachs, owner of national firm Royale Security, was Local directories of asked with eight hours’ notice to staff the door at a less than an hour before security companies arrivals. private celebrity residence in Manhattan for what



was billed as an intimate gathering. Despite his inkling that it would end up a larger affair, he was instructed to have only two guards at the door. Almost immediately, the party was full, the client put a stop on anyone else getting in, and a crowd of several hundred would-be crashers was trying to gain access. Wachs and his staff were working to maintain order until several uninvited celebrities—Brooke Shields among them— made their way to the front. “It’s not security’s job to say who gets in, just to facilitate who’s supposed to be there, but you can’t just tell certain people that a list is closed and they can’t come. There’s always repercussions for that,” Wachs explains. “But you also can’t say the door is closed and that no one is getting in, and then let certain people in throughout the night. People will just go crazy, and they’ll linger.” To get the antsy A-listers inside while keeping the crashers at bay, Wachs went up to the second floor of the residence, where the host could look down on the crowd and decide who was getting in. Wachs revised the list, escorted the guests in, and told the rest that the door was officially closed. “The most important thing is for clients to be honest,” Wachs warns. “When you downplay the size of an Security was seen event to keep security to a minimum, it can be a real detriment to the success of manhandling the party.” guests at the

For the launch of a Nespresso machine, Production 911 and Obscura Digital projected coffee cups onto a SoHo building.


Production 911 also set up a silent auction tent at the Nespresso event.

Sneha Bhatia and Mia Choi

ORIGINAL PRODUCTION Former EventQuest staffers Mia Choi and Sneha Bhatia started their own event management company. Mia Choi and Sneha Bhatia met at experiential marketing and design company EventQuest. Over their seven years there—Choi as head of production and Bhatia as a production manager—they enjoyed working together so much that they started their own business. “We both thought it would be great to create an agency that bridged the gap between being a solo producer and a bigger company,” Choi says. In February 2008, the pair launched Production 911 (718.782.7512,, a full-service event production company based in Brooklyn. Through their firm, they manage any and every part of the production process, from designing and execut-

ing the look and feel of an event to securing venues, creating sets and product displays, and hiring a band. “The best part of spending so many years in a large agency is that you’ve done everything. We’ve had jobs in India and Dubai, found stilt walkers for an event the night before. We are able to bring that to this company, but with a much more nimble business model,” Bhatia says. The two do as much work inhouse as possible and hire outside companies to handle things like set construction and audiovisual production, but say they often do not mark up their services. Their client list includes Nespresso, Google, and Trump International.

34 january/february 2010

The New Yorker hired Production 911 to produce its 2008 Passport to the Arts event, a one-day tour of galleries in Chelsea and SoHo, and to turn a raw space into a pop-up gallery for a silent art auction, cocktails, and several branded areas for sponsors, including Land Rover and Mexico Tourism. “It was all under one roof, so we used a lot of dividers and created nooks and crannies so people could explore the area,” Bhatia says. “Usually you have one corporation you create a vision for, but for this project there were many to focus on, which made it more fun.” The magazine was so pleased with the results, it hired Bhatia and Choi for Passport to the Arts again in November 2009. “They are great at making everything look beautiful and perfect,” says New Yorker special events manager Benjamin Milligan, “but keeping the budget in mind.” —Lisa Cericola

A Mobile Photo Booth Boothomatic (646.573.2541, is a mobile photography unit that can be wheeled around an event so that guests can pose, dance, or jump in front of a desired spot and snap photos with a handheld wireless trigger. The slender six-foot-tall module is crafted out ACTI VIT Y of whitewashed or natural bamboo and takes high-quality images in black-and-white or color. Portraits can be viewed immediately on an LCD screen at the back of the booth. Standard rentals cost $2,500 for four hours in the New York City area. The price includes a Web page of event images, from which guests can download photos at no extra cost or choose to purchase prints. The host also receives a CD of all the photos from the party. —Mark Mavrigian


New York Fresh Face

Kolache Mama (212.922.1856, offers kolaches—Czech-style pastries filled with sweet and savory ingredients like meat, vegetables, cheese, fruit, and chocolate. They can be served for breakfast (bacon, egg, CATE R I NG and cheese), lunch (tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil), or dessert (blueberry and blackberry compote with sweet cream cheese and streusel). A party platter costs $34 per dozen, and delivery is available throughout Manhattan. An assortment of —L.C. savory kolaches

Idea File

In September, Los Angeles-based café, store, and gallery Royal/T launched an in-house pop-up with public craft workshops on making terrariums and crocheting birds.

In September, Brooklyn-based accessories and apparel retailer HaydenHarnett had Rhode Island’s Inflicting Ink Tattoos on hand to customize customers’ leather bags.

Retail Therapy Many stores are ramping up in-store events to boost sales—or at least get people in the doors. Here are six recent promotions. By LISA CERICOLA

After Macy’s annual Glamorama fashion show at the Chicago Theatre in August, guests attended an in-store party at Macy’s on State Street, which offered makeovers, dancing, and virtual golf games.

For the December opening of an American Eagle Outfitters store in New York, the chain lit up Times Square with a 25-story LED sign that ran live footage from the red carpet and the party.

36 january/february 2010

For its fifth anniversary, Canadian fashion magazine LouLou held a block party along Toronto’s Bloor Street in September. Retailers offered gifts, spa treatments, discounts, and activities such as a T-shirt painting station in a Puma store.


Guests ate brownies and listened to indie band TV/TV at the opening of a Gap concept store in New York in November.


A Downtown Hotel With British Accents Owned by a London-based hotel group, the 86-room Crosby Street Hotel opened in early October with a contemporary European design. In addition to a lobby-level bar and garden, the boutique property has a full floor dedicated to events and meetings. This 4,823-square-foot section’s largest space (aside from a 99-seat theater) is the 883-squarefoot Prince Room, which holds 100 for receptions or seats 55 for banquets. (79 Crosby St., 212.226.6400)


A New Spin on Sport Clubs Building on the success of their underground Naked Ping-Pong tournaments, Bill Mack, Franck Raharinosy, and Jonathan Bricklin partnered with Andrew Gordon to open a table tennis and social club called Spin New York. In a subterranean spot at 23rd Street and Park Avenue South, the 13,000-square-foot facility was designed by Todd Oldham and offers 17 individual Ping-Pong tables, bleacher seating, Ducks bar and lounge, and a private room for 50. Available for teambuilding functions or other private events, the venue holds 140 seated or 299 for receptions. (304 Park Ave. South, 212.982.8802)

A West Chelsea Gallery With Rooftop Views After moving to west Chelsea earlier this year, Scott Murphy and Nick Dine’s boutique architecture and interior design firm opted to make its gallery available for private events. Known as the Murphy and Dine Gallery, the space offers a main 1,500-squarefoot studio with 22-foot ceilings and access to a private garden with 1,000 square feet of space. The largest part of the venue, a 5,000-square-foot rooftop terrace, offers fifthfloor views of the High

Line. In total, Murphy and Dine Gallery holds as many as 450 for receptions in the three combined spaces. (520 West 27th St., 212.226.7171)

A Theater Designed by Milton Glaser

in mid-September. The handsome 20,000-square-foot site envisioned by graphic designer Milton Glaser houses two auditoriums—one seats 480, the other 265—and a lobby and reception area. Both theaters are equipped with a stage, theatrical lighting, Wi-Fi Internet access, Dolby surround sound, and projection capabilities for 35-millimeter, 16-millimeter, and multiple high-definition formats. The lobby can hold receptions for 200, and there is room on the lower level for catering prep. (333 West 23rd St., 212.592.2980)

A facility to present student work and house lectures for the School of Visual Arts, the S.V.A. Theatre opened

38 january/february 2010



New York


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Los Angeles

A Downtown Place for Premieres In October, Regal Cinemas at L.A. Live opened for business with what it bills as the largest theater with stadium seating in the country. There are 14 screens and 3,795 high-back reclining seats, ranging from 100 to 290 per auditorium, plus high-end digital projection and sound systems. The venue expects to court big Hollywood

screenings and events in the 818-seat “premiere house,” which has a private entrance, box office, concession area, and lobby. It has a grand spiral staircase leading to the balcony. The theater has a 70-foot screen and more than 60 speakers, plus 32 surroundsound speakers. (800 West Olympic Blvd., 800.792.8244)

Japanese Fare in an Opulent Setting In November, Agura West Hollywood opened in a former church with room for 150 for seated events. Executive chef Yuji Nawata’s menu includes an appetizer of shrimp, scallops, and sea bass in a spicy miso and ginger sauce, presented inside a roasted tomato, and an entrée of curried Colorado lamb served with black pepper sauce and couscous. The space offers luxe furnishings, a giant gold Buddha, and private dining rooms, with booth seating for 20 and patio seating for 45. (14 North La Cienega, Beverly Hills, 310.289.1940)

Airport-Accessible Conference Space Officially open since December, the Miyako Hybrid Hotel in Torrance, about 15 minutes from LAX, is a seven-story hotel with 208 rooms, 12 suites (six hospitality and six luxury), and five meeting spaces with 4,628 square feet of total meeting space. Amenities include 46-inch LCD televisions, complimentary wired and wireless Internet throughout, and oversize baths and separate showers. Among the meeting spaces are two boardrooms, one for 10 and the other for 20. The Nara and Kyoto function rooms can each hold 80 for receptions, or can be connected with the use of an adjoining patio to

Late-Night Dining in Hollywood hold 200 in 3,000 square feet. Japanese fusion restaurant Gonpachi serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There are also a fitness center and the Relaken day spa. (1381 South Western Ave., Torrance, 310.212.5111)

40 january/february 2010

Opened in September, Vinolio made its debut in the Cahuenga corridor, right in the midst of Hollywood’s nightspots. Chef Andy Pastore designed the menu— mainly Italian items such as specialty pizzas and sliced meats—plus traditional Italian desserts like tiramisu and panna cotta. Vinolio also has a full wine list, and its kitchen stays open for late-night bites. Exposed brick walls, rustic wooden tables, and antique embellishments give the eatery an Old World feel. The space is available for buyouts, and holds as many as 200 people. A private dining area is available on the back patio, which seats 50. (1634 North Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood, 323.856.0888)




Grind Burger Bar & Lounge

Lagasse’s Stadium

Destination Report: Las


GOING OFF DUTY After a long convention day—or week—these five new places can provide a relaxed mood and a playful atmosphere for a party or group meal.

Grind Burger Bar & Lounge (360 East Tropicana Ave., 702.262.9181), which had its grand opening in November, offers guests a chance to fully customize their burgers. Hand-pressed meats, gourmet cheeses, 20 toppings, and 20 specialty sauces are on offer. The restaurant also offers a selection of potatoes and fries, salads, appetizers, specialty sandwiches, and milk shakes, plus a variety of beers, wines, and cocktails. Grind seats 90, and buyouts are available. The industrial decor is meant to evoke the 1940s through exposed brick and stainless steel fixtures. There is a full bar offering gaming and plasma TVs. After a grand opening party in October, Las Vegas’s new Hard Rock Cafe (3771 South Las Vegas Blvd., 702.733.7625) is open for business. The 42,000-square-

foot space, which anchors the Showcase Mall development, has a 950-seat restaurant, a live concert venue with room for 1,000, and a shop filled with limited-edition merchandise. Interactive multimedia technology showcases the memorabilia collection; Hard Rock partnered with Technomedia Solutions and Obscura Digital to create an 18-footwide by 4-foot-tall interactive touch wall that allows guests to further explore the collection. It is the Hard Rock’s second location in Las Vegas. In September, chef Emeril Lagasse and the Palazzo opened Lagasse’s Stadium (3325 Las Vegas Blvd. South, 702.607.2665), a massive restaurant and sports bar complex. The 24,000-square-foot space , formerly the Sportsbook Bar & Grill, has custom

42 january/february 2010

sports-viewing walls consisting of music, a retail store, and nightly enternearly 100 high-definition screens tainment. Stilt walkers make balloon capable of showing nearly every major hats for the crowd that inevitably gathcollege and professional sporting event ers around a three-story volcano, which at once. In addition to street-level erupts over the bar, spilling margarita outdoor space bordering Las Vegas mix into two 300-gallon blenders. The Boulevard, the venue has lounge and space holds 675. stadium-style seating and luxury boxes Cabo Wabo (3667 Las Vegas Blvd. for private events. The menu includes South, 702.699.5525) is the new biupdated sports-bar and American level, 15,000-square-foot live music classics, plus some of the chef’s New venue, bar, and restaurant owned by Orleans-style dishes. Sammy Hagar at Planet Hollywood. Margaritaville (3555 Las Vegas Blvd. The original, in Cabo San Lucas, MexSouth, 702.733.3302) at the Flamingo is ico, inspired Cabo Wabo tequila, and a 27,000-square-foot the Vegas cantina shares ON BIZBASH.COM its lively atmosphere. trilevel eatery and enNews about new venues The Tex-Mex and coastal tertainment venue with in Las Vegas, plus our island flavor, six bars, Mexican menu was decomprehensive local two patios overlooking veloped by executive chef supplier directory the Strip, Jimmy Buffett Jerrold Heinz.




Cuba Libre Kafe Kalik

Destination Report: Orlando

Flex Space The Black Olive

1. Lago This upscale Italian restaurant opened in December 2008 in the leafy residential neighborhood of Lake Baldwin Park. The 290-seat dining room, which has high ceilings, oversize windows, and an open theater kitchen, is available for buyouts. A 45-seat private dining room has audiovisual equipment and lake views, while a private wine room seats 14. (4979 New Broad St., 407.331.5246) 2. The Black Olive Another fancy Italian eatery, this 98-seat restaurant opened near Lake Eola Park in April. Dark wood ďŹ&#x201A;oors, leather banquettes, and marble tables distinguish the main dining room,

which can be combined with the bar and outdoor area for buyouts for 150. The private, glass-encased wine vault seats 10. (22 East Pine St., 407.849.1689) 3. Cuba Libre The Cuban mini chain (with outposts in Philadelphia and Atlantic City) opened its Orlando location in January 2009. The bilevel restaurant, designed to resemble an old Havana courtyard, holds 1,000. For smaller events, the restaurant seats 80 on the patio and 120 in a ballroom that divides into three smaller rooms. (9101 International Drive, 407.226.1600) 4. Kafe Kalik Opened in October 2008, this festive Bahamian restaurant has a colorful 10,000-squarefoot dining room that seats 315 and can be bought out for events. Two banquet rooms can be combined to seat 45, and the patio holds 60. The restaurant features live music and a Junkanoo show with dancers in traditional island costumes. (4969 International Drive, 407.248.0889)

WHERE TO STAGE A BIG SHOW In February 2009, Universal Studios debuted Music Plaza (1000 Universal Studios Plaza, 888.266.2121,, a 32,000-square-foot outdoor music venue designed to look CO N C E RT V E N U E like the Hollywood Bowl. With a 60- by 40-foot stage, two 20-foot-tall projection screens, and a digital audio system, the plaza can host private concerts for several thousand.

44 january/february 2010


These four new spots offer intimate private dining rooms and larger spaces for banquets and receptions.














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Florida April 28, 2010 Ft. Lauderdale Convention Center

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With an ideal environment for face-to-face interaction, dynamic education sessions, and keynotes from the best in the business, you’ll walk away fired up and ready to create incredible events in the coming year. You’re invited to attend with an open mind — and open canvas.


Toronto Autumn 2010 Date & Location To Be Announced

New York October 27, 2010 The Javits Center

Registration Web Development Travel & Housing Event Management



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Pandora’s Party Following the premiere of Fox’s blockbuster film Avatar, set on an alien moon called Pandora, an afterparty for 1,100 guests took over the Hollywood & Highland complex.


A live band played during the after-party.

Fox’s Avatar premiere and party nodded to the film’s big-budget effects.

A large circular bar stood in the center of the ballroom, and large planet-like balloons hung from the ceiling.


Posters and a 3-D step-and-repeat—a nod to the film’s advances in the technology— lined the Na’vi blue carpet.

50 september/october 2009

In Twentieth Century Fox’s Avatar, James Cameron draws upon new 3-D technology and a rumored budget of more than $300 million to create Pandora, an alien moon with glowing flora, fierce fauna, and a blueskinned race of native people known as the Na’vi. Rather than pull looks or props directly from the film’s scenes for the premiere at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and after-party at the Hollywood & Highland ballroom on December 16, Fox’s Len Iannelli and Michelle Emmitt evoked a general sense of the film’s fictional world through more subtle touches. “The film’s spectacle is, of course, impossible to recreate at an after-party,” said Iannelli in an email. “Instead, Avatar [inspired] the evening’s unique environment.” Such inspiration took shape in the form of the Na’vi-colored carpet that ran down Hollywood Boulevard, outside the theater. For those who couldn’t join crowds of fans, UStream featured a live Webcast of celebrity arrivals. Inside the theater, guests found popcorn packaged in boxes decorated with Na’vi characters, but the blue creatures that figured so prominently in the film were completely absent from the after-party. “The only Twentieth Century image from the movie we were Fox’s Avatar Premiere allowed to use was the six-letter Aerialists, Band Project Avatar logo,” said Joel Goldman of Entertainment Entertainment Lighting Services. Audio Goodman Audio Services Inc. “We had to custom create the Catering Wolfgang Puck environment of the movie from Catering scratch without exactly duplicating Design, Furniture Poko it.” Goldman and his team installed Event Productions Flowers Hidden Garden roving blue lighting fixtures that Furniture, Rentals Town & projected leaf patterns to chanCountry Event Rentals nel the lush forest landscape of Lighting, Signage, Pandora. Technical Production Entertainment Lighting Iannelli and Emmitt turned to Services Poko Event Productions to design Rigging Icarus Rigging the Pandora-inspired look of the Screening Venue party, which included verdant Grauman’s Chinese Theatre centerpieces featuring moss and Security Special Event tree trunks that sat atop tables or Management nestled in hollow plastic ottomans. Step & Repeat Poko Event The 1,100 guests sampled a menu Productions Trees Green Set Inc. by Wolfgang Puck throughout the Venue Hollywood & party, which ended around 1:30 a.m. Highland Center —Rosalba Curiel


Aerialists entertained guests with acrobatic moves.

Floral decor featured branches, mini tree trunks, and moss.

Alien Invasion

Big as Life The premiere of Michael Jackson’s concert documentary sprawled over L.A. Live with aerialists, LEDs, and fans galore. Even after his death, Michael The premiere for Jackson remains an outsize Michael Jackson’s figure, surrounded by seemingly limitless pomp and This Is It included a glitter. Appropriately then, the premiere for Michael large arrivals area Jackson’s This Is It, the movie culled from his final reon the Nokia Plaza. hearsal footage, was an event that fit into the same category, and conjured its own mystique and energy in downtown Los Angeles on October 27. Columbia Tristar Marketing group senior vice president for special events Alison Bossert, along with executive direcThe after-party tor Mary Powell and manager Dori Golod, oversaw was a videothe event, with production by 15/40. rich space, The spectacle began with arrivals on the Nokia with screens Plaza at L.A. Live. The atypical setup felt more like a and effects stage than a standard arrivals line: Instead of the throughout. usual carpet, a red lacquer dance floor lay underfoot, inset with video and lighting elements to evoke Jackson’s iconic “Billie Jean” video. Dancers from the planned tour, known as the “Crystal Divas,” performed an aerialist routine overhead in Swarovski crystal costumes and chandeliers. Glass cases displayed costumes from the intended tour, some unfinished. Video elements and LED screens surrounded the area, and fans screamed from a pit in the middle. Craig Waldman of 15/40 described the scope of the arrivals scene as “like an award show.” About 200 photographers and 120 television crews turned out. Guests moved inside the Nokia Theatre for the screening promptly before 6 p.m. An on-time start (highly uncharacteristic of movie premieres) was essential because portions of the event were satellite simulcast around the world to other premieres in 17 cities. About 5,500 guests viewed the movie—the theater has a capacity of more than 7,000, but the inclusion of a movie screen necessitated Performers danced on multiple removing some seats without sight Michael Jackson’s levels within truss structures lines—which gave a glimpse into the This Is It Premiere throughout the party space. late star’s rehearsals at the nearby Catering Border Grill & Staples Center. Ciudad Catering, Hot After the screening about 3,500 Dog On a Stick, In-N-Out Burger, Kogi Korean BBQ, guests moved in a tightly packed Wolfgang Puck Catering line to the party at L.A. Live’s sweepDesign, Furniture, Lighting, ing event deck. (The other screening Production 15/40 guests were fans who had won their Productions DJ DJ Bizzy movie passes in a radio promotion.) Flowers Collage Floral Performers danced on truss bridges Design and Events overhead and throughout, and a cenInvitations Creative Impact tral bar moved like a giant turntable. Agency Permitting Jimmy’s Permit Video walls and screens—includServices ing an LED-screen-wrapped column— Rentals Classic Party added visual drama, and DJ Bizzy spun Rentals, Town & Country works by Jackson, plus his influencers Event Rentals Security Noble Inc. and disciples. About a third of the Entertainment Security event’s footprint was a dance floor. Sound Ling Audio “Everything was Michael,” Productions Services Giant letters that spelled out the Bossert said. “It was all about a celTheater Ticketing film’s title decorated the entrance Benarroch Productions ebration of him, as the movie is, too.” to the tented after-party space. Venue Nokia Theatre —Alesandra Dubin



Tour costumes were displayed in the party space. january/february 2010 51

To give the dinner party tableau some life during the event, four models sat at the table.

In one seating area, rough-hewn tables made of stripped birch trees, moss, and ferns contrasted with golden chairs.

Forest Floor

Life-size trees, a bed of moss, and leafy plants created a forest scene at Louis Vuitton’s launch at Saks Fifth Avenue.

To launch its new Saks boutique, Louis Vuitton created a woodland setting on the store’s third floor. Louis Vuitton’s event on November 10 was anything but subdued. The twohour launch that heralded the French fashion house’s 2010 cruise collection and its first women’s concept store in North America planted guests amid a living garden of trees, foliage, and flowers on the third floor of Saks Fifth Avenue. Hosted by Maggie Gyllenhaal, Louis Vuitton North America president and C.E.O. Daniel Lalonde, and Saks Fifth Avenue chairman and C.E.O. Stephen Sadove, the night entertained a bevy of well-heeled models, editors, and celebrities, including tennis champ Serena Williams, Vogue publisher Tom Florio, and Vanity Fair executive fashion editor Alexis Bryan Morgan. To construct the elaborate forest inside the department store, Sandra Mariniello, director of events and special projects for Louis Vuitton North America, and her team tapped David Beahm, who in turn brought in a small army to build and arrange

In a section dubbed the “damier lawn,” monogrammed bags sat atop a patchwork of grass and flowers.

52 january/february 2010

An enormous hedge comprised of vines, boxwood, daisies, Vanda orchids, and calla lilies served as an unofficial stepand-repeat for many guests.



Salmon rosette hors d’oeuvres continued the garden motif.

Artisans from Louis Vuitton’s workshop in France spent the evening showcasing their craft at the entrance to the event.

the decor two and a half hours before the event’s 7 p.m. start time. Designed as a showcase for the new wares as well as a retrospective of the 155-year-old company’s luxury goods, the event saw artisans craft pieces in a grove of life-size trees, models chat in a garden party vignette, jewelry displayed alongside mounds of mums, and an enormous boxwood hedge emblazoned with the retailer’s signature monogram. The night’s centerpiece was a wishing tree that invited guests to pen their answers to the question “Where will your journey take you?” and hang the messages on ribbons dangling from its branches. Louis Vuitton included some of the notes in the seasonal display at its Fifth Avenue store. To accompany Louis Vuitton’s Saks the garden setting, Fifth Avenue In-Store Olivier Cheng Catering Boutique Launch and Events served Catering Olivier Cheng bites such as truffled Catering and Events foie gras with onion Design, Management, marmalade on raisin Production David Beahm pecan toast, steak with Design Display Cases Taylor watercress aioli on Creative Inc. pomme frites, flowerDJ DJ Sky Nellor shaped chocolate Furniture Rentals fondants with Grand Signature Event Rentals Lighting Atomic Lighting Marnier, and macaSound Sine Audio Inc. roons. —Anna Sekula

Grand Avenue was closed to traffic for the gala. Bougainvillea and greenery added vibrant color to bars.

Gustavo Dudamel led his first concert with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Disney Hall.

Music Scene The Los Angeles Philharmonic welcomed its new music director with a lavish Latin-theme gala. If classical music can still create a palpable buzz in modern-day Los Angeles, the L.A. Philharmonic’s new music director, Gustavo Dudamel, has summoned that energy in town. The phil welcomed the incoming Dudamel for the young conductor’s inaugural concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall on October 8, and surrounded the festivities with lavish receptions and a gala that highlighted Dudamel’s native Venezuela. Working with the gala committee, Gai Klass—who had coincidentally returned from a trip to Peru when she secured the contract for the gala—produced and designed the Latin-inspired event. “The introduction of a new music director already garnering international buzz in the music world inspired us to give a special fresh focus to this year’s event,” said the philharmonic’s vice president of development, Tim Landi. “We were indeed hoping that we would be reaching and attracting a larger audience, both here in L.A. and perhaps across the continents and oceans. That wish came true—we attracted more than 800 gala patrons and sold as many seats to the general public.” Two receptions preceded the 7 p.m. concert. Afterward, the festivities continued on Grand Avenue, closed to traffic for the evening, with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, and dinner and dancing. “We created a pan-Latin theme in honor of Dudamel,” said Klass, who added that she had been enthralled by Peru’s

The gala feted Dudamel with colorful decor nods to his native Venezuela and other pan-Latin themes.

54 january/february 2010



Images by Lighting bathed the exterior of Disney Hall in vibrant colors.

Brightly colored linens topped tables.

marketplaces and architecture. Among the event’s production standouts were a hot pink arrivals carpet and flamenco quartet; Brazilian drummers and capoeiristas; bougainvillea climbing the bars; set walls that looked like buildings lining a Latin street; and a Carnival-inspired aerialist performance at the gala after the concert. Chef Joachim Splichal of the Patina Group created a Latin-themed menu that included passed hors d’oeuvres like arepas Los Angeles stuffed with shredded Philharmonic beef ragout. Dinner Inaugural Concert consisted of sautéed and Gala for Gustavo prawns with paprika, Dudamel piquillos, eggplant, lime, garlic milk, and crostini, Aerial Performance Airealistic followed by an entree Catering Patina Group of marinated filet of Booking, Cocktail beef with chiles papas Entertainment, Music rellenas served with Performance Fresh Green Collateral YYES chickpea, mango, corn, Design TFS Studio and pepper salsa; and Design, Production Gai a torta de queso with Klass Event Production cinnamon, plantainDinner Band West Coast Music colada ice cream, and Lighting Images by mojito sorbet with Lighting coco nibs. PR BWR Public Relations “This gala was Production Consulting Mark Flaisher larger than life because Entertainment of [Dudamel],” Klass Rentals Classic Party said. “He is such an Rentals amazing energy and Scaffolding, Subflooring Event Construction people love him so Services much. He makes us Sound Westcoast Sound all just inspired and & Light happy.” Venue Walt Disney Concert Hall —Alesandra Dubin



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Director’s Cut MoMA staged an appropriately whimsical and macabre tribute to Tim Burton at its annual film benefit. The Museum of Modern Art hosted Dinner guests spent its second film benefit on November the cocktail hour in 17. The gala raised $800,000 for its department of an indoor garden film, honored director Tim Burton, and kicked off an designed by event exhibition of his work with decor inspired by more producers SPEC than two decades worth of movies. Entertainment. A crowd of 240—including event co-chairs Helena Bonham Carter and Johnny Depp, as well as Danny DeVito, Brooke Shields, and Gabourey Sidibe— MoMA events, we tried to keep everything clean and joined the director for cocktails, a short presentation, contemporary.” Pizzo and Striffler brought on production and dinner before the museum lobby opened for a company SPEC Entertainment to handle the decor less exclusive after-party. and many details of the night, which spanned nearly The evening marked a bit of a departure from six hours and featured a step-andlast year’s inaugural benefit, which repeat, a cocktail hour, a presentation honored Baz Luhrmann. The museum’s Museum of Modern Art Film Benefit in one of MoMA’s theaters, a dinner, a Tim Burton retrospective has been in Catering Creative Edge V.I.P. preview of the Burton exhibition, the works for years, and timing the Parties and an after-party for an additional honor to its opening allowed event Design, Production SPEC 350 guests. staff to be exceptionally playful in Entertainment Gluing the many facets together their execution. Flowers Ovando Furniture Rentals was the museum lobby, filled with “We didn’t want to be culling from Signature Event Rentals hedges, topiary, oversize paper flowers, any specific film,” said MoMA assistant Lighting Bentley Meeker and dramatic white chairs and ottodirector of special events Liz Pizzo, who Lighting & Staging mans that wouldn’t be out of place in worked with special events manager Red Carpet Kadan Productions Inc. any number of Burton’s films, particuOlivia Striffler to produce the benefit. Venue Museum of larly his latest, Alice in Wonderland. “This was about conveying what Tim Modern Art —Michael O’Connell Burton represents and, like with all


Floral arrangements designed by Ovando stretched across each table.

Photos by Phillip Greenberg


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The step-and-repeat in the museum lobby featured the same oversize flowers used in the pop-up garden at the cocktail hour.

Pet Shop Hello Kitty’s anniversary pop-up took over the Japanese-inspired store Royal/T. Sanrio’s cutesy Hello Kitty brand is celebrating its 35th anniversary. And for a pop-up sponsored by Target to honor the occasion, there was perhaps no better-suited venue choice in the land than Royal/T, a 10,000-square-foot art exhibition space, retail store, and Japanese-inspired café, itself bearing the same visual and thematic traits. Free and open to the public, the pop-up Hello Kitty-related art exhibit and Sanrio retail shop, known as “Three Apples,” ran from October 23 to November 15. Sanrio’s team unpacked and installed the exhibit, and Japan L.A. shop owner Jamie Rivadeneira curated the Hello Kitty artwork. A private, invitation-only grand opening party on October 22 kicked it all off. For the opening event, a line of eager guests— many in costumes that channeled Hello Kitty’s look—stretched clear down the block. Sanrio V.I.P.s, featured artists, media, Hello Kitty’s 35th and stars such as Kimora Anniversary Pop-Up Lee Simmons and Pete Wentz flooded the space, Cakes, Cupcakes Hotcakes Bakes where they browsed the Catering, Venue Royal/T art; sipped Sapporo, sake Glowing Bar Town & cocktails, and Hello Kitty Country Event Rentals champagne served by PR Wagstaff Worldwide Inc. Royal/T’s maid-costumed Production, Red Carpet NRG Marketing L.L.C. servers; and scooped up Sake Cocktail, Servers items from the shop. Mutual Trading Co. Inc. —Alesandra Dubin



A kitschy hot air balloon toy moved up and down by way of internal controls; guests played inside the gadget all evening long.

Blogger Audrey Kitching attended the opening party.

Costumed guests showed off their Hello Kittyinspired looks at the opening party.

At 60 feet tall and 200 feet wide, the Kabuki drape used at Continental’s unveiling may have been the world’s largest, David Beahm said.

C.E.O.s from 24 airlines in the Star Alliance joined Continental for the unveiling of its new 757.

Arrival Time Continental marked a new partnership and aircraft with a dramatic Kabuki drop. It isn’t every day that an airline switches alliances—the coalitions of different companies that broaden flight services—so when Continental made its long-planned switch to the Star Alliance, it did do so in dramatic fashion. With C.E.O.s from each of the 24 other Star Alliance airlines in town on October 27, Continental launched its new partnership by unveiling a new 757 with a Kabuki drop in its Newark Liberty International Airport hangar and a party for 1,200 later that day at the Rose Center for Earth and Space. The presence of executives from Star Alliance partners including Air Canada, Lufthansa, United Airlines— not to mention members of the press and live telecasts of the proceedings via Bloomberg and CNN—put the pressure on the airline to make a performance out of the launch, so Continental manager of promotions and sponsorships Felicia Daniels hired long-time partner David Beahm Design to produce the event. “They needed a wow moment,” Beahm said. “We thought about literally covering the plane like a work of art and then pulling the cloth, but it could have gotten snagged on anything, and one of those antennas is $400,000, so clearly we couldn’t do that. We finally decided on a Kabuki drop, but at 60 by 200 feet, we think it might have been the world’s largest—and no one could tell what would happen when it fell.”

Playing on the theme of stars, Continental’s Felicia Daniels suggested the American Museum of Natural History’s Rose Center for Earth and Space as the party venue.

60 september/october 2009



Floral arrangements by David Beahm took on the dramatic shapes of planets and stars. Seating areas featured vase-less floral arrangements woven around candles.

None of the theater professionals Beahm consulted in the planning process had ever heard of a Kabuki drop so large and worried about where it would fall in the gusty hangar. “There was no way to know, so we just did it,” Beahm said. “We rehearsed a couple of times, and it did exactly what it was supposed to—until the last rehearsal when one of the mechanisms didn’t fire.” To make sure that the entire curtain wasn’t left hanging at a single point, the malfunction was replaced with duct tape that easily ripped away when the rest of the curtain fell. The unveiling went off without error, and none of the more than 400 in attendance were left covered by the sheer drape. Later in the day, Continental and Star Continental Airlines Alliance hosted more Star Alliance Event than 1,200 guests— Design, Production David including the C.E.O.s Beahm Design present that mornDrape Rigging, Lighting, Technical Production ing—at the American GLOW Design Group Museum of Natural Party Catering Catering by History’s Rose Center Restaurant Associates for Earth and Space, Party Entertainment Broadway Cares/Equity chosen for its stellar Fights AIDS decor. Guests dined Party Lighting Bentley on a meal catered by Meeker Lighting & Restaurant Associates Staging Party Talent Elan Artists: and listened to a set Musicians, Bands, DJs, by the Source and a Photo, and Video selection of flightParty Venue Rose Center themed tunes perfor Earth and Space Press Conference Venue formed by Broadway Continental Airlines Cares. Cargo/Newark Int’l Airport —Michael O’Connell

Enchanted Garden The Whitney gala got some help from Donatella Versace for this year’s decor, which included lots of greenery and some pink flourishes. One of the season’s fanciest galas returned on October 19, this time with a new designer and an earthier look. For the first time, the team at Van Wyck & Van Wyck—who helmed the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Art Party last spring—took charge of the decor for the museum’s fall gala, transforming the third-floor gallery’s blank 200-foot wall into a meadow of ferns, moss, grass, and leaves. “Shakespeare used the idea of a ‘Green World’ in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, an alternate world of fantasy and magic, a primal and elemental and antediluvian place,” said Bronson van Wyck, who co-produced the party with his colleague Lauren Koppel and Whitney director of special events Gina Rogak. “At the end of the day, we’d all love to get back to the Garden of Eden, right? This party was a return to Eden.” To create his Eden, van Wyck drilled supports into the wall and ceiling to bear the installation’s several-thousand-pound weight. Gaps in the garden revealed silver, gold, bronze, pink, and plati-


Pink and purple crystal chandeliers hung above the gala dinner’s round tables.

L.A.’s Cirque Berzerk took the stage later in the evening with several racy skits—and one that even incorporated the Vaio notebooks.

Va-Va-Va-Vaio To emphasize the lifestyle marketing of its new line of laptop computers, Sony filled its Vaio launch party with edgy art, from a tattoo booth to a burlesque circus. On October 7, Sony unveiled the newest additions to its Vaio laptop line at Guastavino’s, promoting its four key marketing pillars—create, serve, perform, and innovate—with a multimedia event featuring live graffiti, tattooing, and an alternative circus. A&E’s Tattoo Innovations in the new computHighway star ers, such as touch-screens and Thomas Pendleton the Windows 7 operating system, inked some guests prompted internal planners to with a tattoo design a presentation that was designed specially suitably progressive. for the night. The vaulted ceilings of Guastavino’s were chosen as a backdrop to give the evening the drama Sony and its public relations partners sought to create. “We wanted to show people what the Vaio lifestyle was all about,” explained Paine Public


62 january/february 2010


The several-thousand-pound greenery installation included 20 different types of fern and moss.


num mirrors that reflected the room’s dinner party atmosphere. Pink and purple Venetian chandeliers hung over the tables, complementing the dense pink—the color requested by event chair Donatella Versace—centerpieces on each table. After a surprise performance by Jennifer Hudson, the dinner’s 500 guests made their way down to the Lower Gallery to join a younger social set at the annual Studio Party, where DJ Berrie spun alongside a surprise DJ-in-the-making, Gossip Girl actress Taylor Momsen. Decor downstairs was more subdued, with lots of pink, purple, and blue lighting (to complement the many blue dresses in Versace’s latest runway show) that bounced off giant sheets of gauzy scrim that hung from the atrium ceiling. In the tented courtyard, van Wyck created a basket-weave ceiling out of pink and purple fabrics and covered one wall in canvas that guests could draw on. The idea was Whitney Museum of inspired by Versace American Art’s Gala and the museum’s and Studio Party “Art Unites” program, which provided canvas Audiovisual Production and art supplies to 500 Wall Street Productions Catering Creative Edge seriously ill children Parties over the summer. Design Van Wyck & Big name guests Van Wyck in attendance included DJ DJ Berrie Lighting, Sound, Staging Versace, Tommy Bentley Meeker Lighting Hilfiger, Candice & Staging Bergen, Leonard PR Linda Gaunt Lauder, Jonathan Tisch, Communications Rentals Party Rental Ltd. Shakira, Gerard Butler, Security Meyerson and Lindsay Lohan. Associates Inc. —Courtney Thompson

Relations client service manager Amy Hamaoui. “That’s design, innovation, ultra-performance—and it’s really very sexy.” Hamaoui drew attention to Thomas Pendleton, star of A&E’s Tattoo Highway, who was on hand to demonstrate the brand’s “innovate” platform by giving real Vaio-inspired tattoos to willing participants. (The tat in question featured a female robot DJ spinning music on a Sony laptop—and, yes, several guests now sport her image for life.) In the lobby, a team of graffiti artists showcased their skills, creating a mural using the five colors that the new Vaio notebook is available in. DJ Kiss provided a steady backdrop of upbeat rock, hip-hop, and electronic tracks. Guests mingled among the various artistic vignettes on display, sampling passed plates from the in-house caterers (mini pizzas with pesto sauce, spinach-artichoke croquettes) and specialty cocktails, like the “Blu-Ray” and the “Vaio Press.” A screen touted Vaio’s Twitter feed and called out in-house celebrity sightings of Nigel Barker and Star Jones. As for the all-important sexiness, that arrived at 8 p.m., with Los Angeles-based performance troupe Cirque Berzerk. They Sony Press Cocktail closed the night out with Launch Event PG-13 acrobatics, a mix of cabaret and burlesque Catering, Venue Guastavino’s styles that even incorpoDJ DJ Kiss rated the new laptops. Performers Cirque Berzerk —Scott Indrisek Publicity Paine PR




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More than 500 guests assembled in the courtyard.

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Hammer director Ann Philbin welcomed guests including Jane Fonda, Leonard and Susan Nimoy, Neil Patrick Harris, Dana Delany, Edythe and Eli Broad, and Jacqui Getty to the party, which began with open galleries as well as cocktails and hors d’oeuvres from The Hammer’s ever-growing “Gala in the chef Suzanne Goin of A.O.C. and Lucques, who once Garden” drew a sold-out crowd and raised again prepared the gala’s menu. Salman Rushdie gave $1.3 million for the museum’s programs. the tribute to Walker, and actress Catherine Keener spoke about Eggers before the gala’s traditionally The Hammer Museum’s seventh diverse crowd of new and established artists, gallerLOS ANGELES annual “Gala in the Garden” ists, patrons, and cultural and entertainment players. honored contemporary artist Kara Walker and writer Projections of the light installation “Orbit” by Dave Eggers at a sold-out dinner for 535 Jennifer Steinkamp, which depicts Hammer Museum’s on October 10. Jennifer Wells Green, the trees changing season, shone in the “Gala in the Garden” museum’s deputy director of advancemuseum’s courtyard; 15/40 handled Audiovisual Production, ment, and David Morehouse, senior the lighting and audiovisual and Lighting, Scenic manager of donor relations, oversaw scenic production. Production 15/40 the event, and Mitie Tucker produced The evening’s decor standouts Productions it. Co-chairs were Ann Moss, Margie included candles in containers of Catering Lucques Chairs Taylor Creative Inc. Perenchio, and Carole Bayer Sager, along black sand, black velvet tablecloths, Design, Production Mitie with honorary co-chair Diane Keaton. hanging globes, and arrangements of Tucker Event Production The growing gala raised $1.3 million—the Flowers Gileta Design dark purple dahlias, green hydranmost in its history—for Hammer exhibigeas, and green chrysanthemums Rentals Classic Party Rentals tions and programs, beating last year’s from Gileta Design. Venue Hammer Museum take of $1.2 million, the previous record. —Alesandra Dubin

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Pianist Andy Chuckerman played during cocktails.


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Backup Singer When the headliner scheduled for Holt Renfrew’s holiday event got sick, Feist stepped in. In a last-minute change to the lineup, singer-songwriter Feist pinch hit for scheduled performer Kristin Chenoweth at Holt Renfrew’s fifth annual holiday window unveiling on November 5 after the Tony winner cancelled her appearance due to an illness. “We’ve always wanted to have Feist. She’s Canadian, and the Abrams Brothers are opening for her, so it’s an all-Canadian lineup. That’s a first for us,” said Gwen Gibson, the retailer’s director of special events. Gibson reported that organizers were notified at noon on November 4 that Chenoweth was ill and wouldn’t be able to perform. About six hours later, they secured Feist. Hundreds of onlookers filled Bloor Street for the concert, held on a stage erected in the middle of the road, which was closed to traffic between Yonge and Bay Streets from 6 a.m. that day.


The window installations play off the words joy, warmth, beauty, magic, wonder, sharing, and love.

Hundreds of people gathered on Bloor Street Thursday for Holt Renfrew’s fifth annual holiday window unveiling.

Feist stepped in at the last minute after scheduled performer Kristin Chenoweth cancelled due to illness.

In Character Scripted models played up key notes at Victoria’s Secret’s fragrance preview. A week shy of its annual fashion show, Victoria’s Secret lured beauty editors to a preview of the new fragrance collection for its Pink brand. The November 12 event at the New York office of parent company Limited Brands relied on models, rather than brand representatives, to articulate and embody the concept behind the three scents, Hope Pink, Wish Pink, and Live Pink. Starting at 9 a.m., the presentation was broken into four 90-minute sessions and hosted about 80 editors—roughly 20 per time slot—from publications such as Vogue, Marie Claire, Vanity Fair, and Seventeen. To produce the event and build an appropriate setting in a space typically used as a conference room, Victoria’s Secret Beauty director of public relations Allison Greenberg brought in Patrick Martinez of City Iris. As each fragrance was developed to represent a different type of Pink customer—a free spirit for Hope, a girly girl for Wish, and an artsy type for Live—the planning team cast models to act out these personalities inside themed sets. Briefed and


Foods such as miniature doughnuts from Marcey Brownstein reinforced each motif. In the Hope Pink area, a model in cut-offs and a T-shirt described her consumer profile’s lifestyle.

In a room bedecked with metal lockers and strands of ribbon hung from the ceiling, Victoria’s Secret Beauty executives spoke about each fragrance.

Onlookers filed past the windows after the unveiling.


Pink spotlights lit the front of the store and red velvet curtains covered the windows. Popcorn and pretzel stands flanked either side of the entrance to Holt Renfrew, and girls in hot pink wigs handed out samples of Benefit cosmetics to shoppers prior to the concert, hosted by Entertainment Tonight Canada’s Rick Campanelli and Kim D’Eon. The windows, designed by creative director John Gerhardt, focused on two themes—to resonate and to animate, he said. “We have chosen seven words that reflect the various moods of the season and put the holidays into context,” he said. “The words are illuminated and backlit to symbolize the magic of the season, as well they serve as a graphic backdrop to seven respective installations.” Feist performed prior to the unveiling, and Holt Renfrew offered extended shopping Holt Renfrew’s Holiday hours following the Window Unveiling event, with a portion Audiovisual Production, of the evening’s sales Lighting, Sound Westbury National Show Systems donated to the United Concert Production Krista Way of Canada. Slack + Aylett Inc. —Susan O’Neill

scripted on their distinct characters, the models passed out scent strips and guided editors through the lifestyle of their specific consumer profile. To drive home the concept, the vignette for each model was styled as an apartment, complete with beds, dressers stuffed with clothes, weathered wooden tables, and other accoutrements. Nibbles from caterer Marcey Brownstein added to each motif, with free-range lemon and basil chicken for the hippie-style Hope and tea sandwiches and bite-sized deviled eggs for the preppy Wish. Editors even received themed gifts from each set as a memorable token of each personality—Wish gave pearl necklaces while artist Bruno Grizzo painted watercolor portraits at Live’s station. There was a more formal discussion at the rear of the space, where Victoria’s Secret Beauty executives talked more specifically about the fragrances. In a nod to the brand’s young demographic, this area held picnic tables heavy with color-coordinated candy and metal Victoria’s Secret lockers stocked with Beauty’s Pink sweaters and pants. Fragrance Collection Encouraged to fill Pink Press Preview bags with the piles of sweets and clothing, Catering Marcey Brownstein Catering & the editors toted home Events plenty of souvenirs. Design City Iris —Anna Sekula

Deck the Mall The tree, with lighting donated by GE, was the most energy efficient ever.

Sheryl Crow, the evening’s featured entertainer, performed before and after the tree lighting.

On stage, the first family were protected by a bullet-proof glass barrier.

The Obamas revamped a holiday tradition with a PBS broadcast and 65 pounds of glitter. The Obamas officially kicked off the 2009 holiday season in Washington on December 3 by lighting the national Christmas tree amid a glittering, ramped-up production and show, the likes of which this city had not seen. Under tight security after the Secret Service security blunder at the Obamas’ first state dinner, nearly 10,000 gathered for the 86th annual event, sponsorsed by Underwriters Laboratories. Staged on a soggy, rain-drenched Ellipse with an earlier start than usual at 5 p.m., the program included musical performances and a reading of “ ’Twas the Night Before Christmas” by Michelle Obama. In partnership with WETA, Washington’s flagship public broadcasting station, the 60-minute lighting ceremony was taped to air on PBS stations across the country throughout the holiday season, a first for the event. Presented by the National Park Service and independent charitable organization the National Parks Foundation, the entertainment portion of the event was produced and directed by New Yorkbased Alex Coletti Productions. Entertainers for the show, hosted by Randy Jackson, included Sheryl Crow, Common, and Jordin Sparks. “With the Obamas in the White House, there


Bite Size

Guests sampled wines and took notes during the seminar.

Food & Wine scaled back programs and rejiggered the layout at its annual entertaining showcase. Bartenders made tequila-based cocktails at a branded bar in the Patron lounge.

Gale Gand, prepared star anise bavarian with grapefruit and candied fennel caramel.


At NoMI’s station, guests got foie gras sliders with truffled celery remoulade.


“I can smell truffles in the air,” said one guest at Food & Wine’s entertaining showcase on November 16. Held at the Museum of Contemporary Art, the event treated 600 guests to dishes from local chefs, who peppered their offerings with high-end ingredients that—in addition to black truffles—included everything from whipped salt cod to apple-cider bubbles and pumpkin consommé. Now in its 11th year, the tasting is “built around its talent,” said Food & Wine’s special projects producer, Devin Padgett, referring to the 20 local chefs who dished out sample-size entrées. Padgett said the first chefs he asked to participate were locals who have been highlighted in Food & Wine’s annual “Best New Chefs” feature. Nine such


was renewed interest in the event this year and a focus on updating it for the new administration, bringing in green [elements] and a diverse lineup of talent,” said the foundation’s Mark Shields. In other firsts, a lottery system distributed tickets for 2,800 seats and 7,000 standing. (Nearly 37,000 people requested tickets.) The 2009 lighting display is the most energy efficient in history, consuming two-thirds less energy compared to last year’s. GE, which has designed and donated the lighting since 1962, used 750 strings of white LED lights, half new, half reused from last year. The 42-inch topper for the 42-foot Colorado spruce was a three-year-old star with GE Tetra LEDs, and other ornaments recycled from past years decorated the tree. The display also included 55 smaller decorated trees on the “Path of Peace” that represented the 50 states, five territories, and the District of Columbia. Hargrove Inc. installed the lights and decorations and created the enhanced signage for each tree. The White House suggested the star and snowflake theme that surrounded the stage, which was designed by CoNational Christmas letti Productions and Tree Lighting executed by Hargrove, Ceremony which also painted the set and coated Audiovisual Production Performance Video the giant stars and Systems snowflakes in nearly 65 Production Alex Coletti pounds of glitter. Productions “This year it was TV Signage, Staging Hargrove Inc. worthy,” said Hargrove’s Venue National Mall and Chris Fulghum. “We got Memorial Parks glitter.” —Walter Nicholls

cooks—including Boka’s Giuseppe Tentori, Alinea’s Grant Achatz, and Tru pastry chef Gale Gand— manned tasting stations at the event. Advertisers and other local chefs filled the remaining spots. In past years, the event offered multiple educational sessions. But this time, scaled-back programming included a single seminar that focused on wine pairing. “I’ve learned, after doing this for more than a decade, that people don’t want to sit down for programming at weeknight events,” Padgett said. “After a long day at work, they just want to enjoy the food and meet the chefs.” Other changes included a new layout. “This event has had eleven different footprints,” Padgett said. For the first time, a Patron tequila lounge with a photo booth and flower arrangements spilling out of empty Food & Wine’s tequila bottles ocEntertaining Showcase cupied a lawn in back Catering Wolfgang Puck of the museum. On Catering the terrace, a tented Audiovisual Production, Aruba rum lounge Flowers, Lighting Event offered tropical drinks Creative Linens, Rentals Hall’s and seating in white Rental lounge furniture. On Production the tent’s ceiling, Event DevIncorporated Creative cast leafy proTenting Partytime Productions Inc. jections that gave the Venue Museum of sponsored area a tropiContemporary Art cal look. —Jenny Berg

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Baskets of apples and fall foliage and candles inside colored mason jars served as centerpieces.

Financial Harvest thanked clients and wooed students at a late-fall dinner. Investment firm Financial Harvest hosts four annual client appreciation events, the most recent of which took place on November 5 at the Winter Park Farmers’ Market. About Producer Eddie Diaz 75 of the company’s clients, investment partners, and arranged family-style company president David Witter’s finance students seating at six long tables. from Valencia Community College attended the fall dinner produced by Eddie Diaz of Encore Creations. ful leaves, and fall-themed props at the entrance to “I place these large events after I’ve taught a the market, which is in an old train depot. class so that [the students invited] get a chance to At each of the firm’s fourth-quarter appreciahear more knowledge and meet our current clients, tion events, the company promotes its which really pushes them over the gift-matching program in which the edge to want to join us,” said Witter, Financial Harvest’s firm matches as much as $100 of their who serves as an adjunct teacher at Fall Celebration existing clients’ donations to a charity the college and includes an educaCatering Puff ‘n Stuff of their choice. tional element about current investing Catering L.L.C. “We’ve learned so much about news in each of his events’ programs. DJ Dancetime Productions of Florida clients through this program and why Diaz used perimeter LED lighting, Drape SGASi they give,” Witter said. “We debated a canopy of more than 40 green and Event Design, Production whether to open this to our prospective orange paper lanterns, and centerEncore Creations Inc. clients, but decided to just offer it to pieces of fresh apples and candles to Harpist Christine MacPhail Lighting Pro Audio Visual our existing ones since the reason we decorate the space. Additionally, he Venue Winter Park Farmers’ can give the match is because of them.” arranged a photo op for guests with Market —D. Channing Muller bales of hay, oversize vegetables, colorA dessert bar outside served carrot cake.

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The contents of the centerpieces were donated to the School of Fashion Design.

Brigham and Women’s Faulkner-Sagoff Centre drew inspiration from Project Runway for a juried fashion show as this year’s fund-raiser. Brigham and Women’s Faulkner-Sagoff Breast Imaging and Diagnostic Centre combined fashion and fund-raising at Runway, its first fashion show competition, held October 22 in the InterContinental Hotel Boston’s Rose Kennedy BallRafanelli Events channeled Project Runway with room. With more than 400 guests, the Faulkner-Sagoff Centre exceeded its $400,000 fund-raising goal for the bio videos for each of the designers, who competed for a trip to New York Fashion Week with the evening’s evening while simultaneously promoting the work of five local designers from the School of Fashion Design. host, Boston-born style maven Monahan, a coach on the TLC show A Makeover Story. “We tried to build a “We set out to create something completely diffoundation to show off each individual designer’s ferent from anything we had ever done or seen done work,” said Bryan Rafanelli. “The chalhere in Boston,” said Anne VanderheyFaulkner-Sagoff lenge was to showcase their personaliden, development events associate at Centre’s Runway ties, inspiration, and perspectives as deFaulkner Hospital, who oversaw producBenefit signers. Project Runway has 14 episodes tion with Rafanelli Events. “We spent Audiovisual Production, to do that; we had one night.” 18 months carefully and strategically Lighting AVFX Inc. The three-minute videos were planning. As our honorary chair, [TV style Catering, Venue shown on the stage’s five vertical guru] Gretchen [Monahan] was fully InterContinental Boston screens before each five-piece collection onboard with the new idea and was Centerpieces Fiddlehead Flowers was presented. Guest judges included able to put together a fantastic panel of Design, Production local TV personality and jewelry dejudges from the fashion industry.” Rafanelli Events signer Tonya Chen Mezrich, Boldfacers. Runway was the facility’s 14th Graphic Design, Printing com founder and editor in chief Lisa fund-raising event. Previous efforts Thinkside Design Linens, Rentals Be Our Pierpont, and Project Runway alums were typically of the dinner-auctionGuest Inc. Kevin Christiana and Emmett McCarthy. dancing variety.

Following the runway shows, judges critiqued the designers’ work.


Be Our Guest provided the alternating gray and fuchsia linens for the event


Men with Heart, a group of men committed to fighting breast cancer, also took a spin on the runway, clad in their signature yellow T-shirts. In addition to the $500 tickets and a live auction, a fashion-centric raffle helped raise funds. Planners went high-tech by using iPod Touches for guests to scroll through the list of upscale gift certificates up for grabs. For every $100 spent on raffle tickets during the cocktail hour, Monahan donated treatments from her salon, Grettacole, to FaulknerSagoff patients. —Erin L. Souza

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Gucci’s Icon-Temporary, a sneaker store with a collection co-designed by Mark Ronson, stopped in the design district for two weeks.

Santigold headlined New York-based Deitch gallery’s annual party, which took place in a tent on the beach behind the Raleigh hotel.


New York-based public art organization Creative Time commissioned Los Angeles artist Pae White to design Art Basel’s 40,000-square-foot Oceanfront exhibit area.

Art Stars

Art Basel Miami Beach wrapped up in early December after four days of exhibitions at the Miami Beach Convention Center and nearly a week of satellite fairs and sponsored parties around the city.

Synchronized swimmers performed at a 1930s-themed party Maybach and David LaChapelle hosted at the Raleigh’s pool.

At Converse’s Art Is for Everyone party at Awarehouse, guests filled in a paint-by-numbers design.

Veuve Clicquot used champagne boxes to create the lighting fixtures on display in its exhibition area inside Design Miami’s 35,000-square-foot structure.

To launch its newest A8 model, Audi called on EventStar to create a 45,000-square-foot temporary structure on the sand north of the Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach.

ON BIZBASH.COM More photos and details from Art Basel events

74 september/october 2009



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re Icy blue and white decor filled the dance lounge, dubbed the Crystal Ballroom.

A mirror paid homage to “Snow White.”

windows in op art and created three themed spaces, including an enchanted forest inspired by the tale of Hansel and Gretel. Red and white op art covered the walls, and Pallattella used icing to attach sweets like candy canes and gingerbread men to tall cutouts Fairy tales and op art inspired whimsical of white Christmas trees, surrounded by garden decor at Capital C’s holiday party. gnomes, candy apples, and mini red tinsel trees. A gloved hand reached from behind the wall to offer When guests stepped into Capital sweets to guests. TORONTO C’s fifth-floor offices—the site of DJ Eric Ling spun tunes in the blue and white the company’s annual holiday party on December Crystal Ballroom, where a screen displayed black10—they entered a loft-style space filled with op art and-white images of a snowy night, peel-and-stick images and fairy tale references. Colorful drawings op art distinguished the dance floor, and servers ofof characters from stories by the Brothers Grimm, fered mini ice cream cones at a bar. like “Sleeping Beauty” and “Cinderella,” were mixed Green lighting filled the main bar area, dubbed Sir with abstract black-and-white images throughout Drinkalot’s Drinkery, where displays included framed the King Street East workplace. photos of characters like Puss in Boots and Prince Dar“Op art and fairy tales are both about percepling. Servers in “Do You C What I C?” Ttion and the suspension of disbelief. shirts offered cocktails with names like Capital C Holiday Party It’s about creating a world of illusion Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum and the Turquoise Fairy. and enchantment,” event planner Mary Audiovisual Production The menu, created by Domenic Apex Sound & Light Pallattella, creative director of Capital Chiaromonte, executive chef of Match Bartenders, Cocktail C Live Events, said of the evening’s ArtRestaurant, also mixed op art fairy Design The Martini Club fully Ever After theme. International Inc. tale references, using ingredients like Pallattella worked with decor Catering, Staffing Match edible paper printed with the Capital Restaurant, Event Venue & company Devan to transform the C logo on crackers and edible silver Catering marketing and promotional agency for sparkle atop mini lobster burgers with Creative, Event Production, the event, which drew more than 300 Venue Capital C double brie. —Susan O’Neill employees and clients. Decor Devan DJ DJ Eric Ling “There’s a touch of a fairy tale Premiums Incredible character in every room,” said PallatON BIZBASH.COM More Novelties Inc tella, who covered all of the interior photos of the decor and food

A Happy Ending


A pair of legs stuck out from beneath a wall in the candy room.

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BizBash’s New York Expo & Awards Invigorates Planners BizBash’s New York Expo, held October 21 at the Javits Center, teemed with energy and excitement for events in the Northeast, with a full day of education, exhibits, entertainment, and networking. Nearly 3,000 members of New York’s event industry gathered on the floor of Exhibit Hall 1A of the Javits Center for the ninth annual event, which also included the city’s annual Event Style Awards. The anticipation for the show began with the exhibitor move-in and setup the day before, expedited by Metropolitan Exposition. That evening, Hudson Terrace hosted hundreds of attendees for a preparty, which featured cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and beats mixed by Skam Artist DJs. The venue, conveniently located just minutes away from the Javits Center, featured a stylish indoor and outdoor patio space with sunset views. Outof-town guests flew in on Continental Airlines

and stayed at The New Yorker, Residence Inn by Marriott Times Square, or Hampton Inn Times Square, three of the event’s hotel sponsors. On the day of the show, attendees were beckoned to the expo by a video billboard displaying the event’s colorful sunburst branding, which could be seen for blocks. They arrived at the Javits Center to find a registration area well appointed with modern furnishings from Cort Business Services. With options ranging from sleek leather-andsteel chairs to glass LCD pillars that changed colors, the stylish designs complemented the contemporary feel of the area. This year’s show concept, “Bash the Expected,” encouraged planners to think strategically, providing practical advice on creating events with limited resources. BizBash’s staff created buzz before the expo

The general session audience was astounded by the split-second costume changes performed by Quick Change, represented by BongarBiz.

The show floor at the Javits Center was packed with New York event pros in search of the latest products and services.



by using elegant printed invitations designed by Alpine Creative and social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn. Special offers posted on industry sites, through tweets on Twitter, and on BizBash’s Web site announced speakers and updates to the schedule. E-vents Registration’s team sped attendees through the on-site registration process using a bar-code-scanning system with hardware and printers supplied by NMR Staging & Events. American Express sponsored online preregistration. All attendees received badges with lanyards printed with the Stone Security/Global Security Services logo and white recycled polypropylene tote bags with plenty of room for brochures and giveaways from exhibitors. Some of the items found in the show bags were literature from M&M Mars and offers from Brightroom photography and FreshDirect. More than 400 planners attended the education sessions that started shortly after 8 a.m., after enjoying a continental breakfast. Illumination Marketing + Events L.L.C. handled education management, making the concurrent morning and afternoon conference sessions flow smoothly. Attendees participated in education sessions such as “Catering Trends: A Comprehensive View of Current Trends in the Event Industry,” which saw standingroom-only attendance as Joe Cozza, president of the National Association of Catering Executives’ New York chapter, facilitated a panel of New York’s top catering executives. The group discussed food and beverage


2009 New York Hall of Fame inductees Lindsay Carroll, event coordinator, accepting on behalf of the Robin Hood Foundation; Anthony Napoli, president and owner of Briggs Inc.; and Katharine Stapleton, executive director of the Greater New York chapters of both H.S.M.A.I. and M.P.I.

Abigail Kirsch offered an array of flavors at its booth, which was a hit with show attendees.

One Club for Art & Copy’s “The One Show Awards” won the Event Style Award for Best Entertainment Program/Concept. Pictured are Event Style Awards M.C. Scott Bloom with Michael Scama, producer, and Leane Romeo, president of Overland Entertainment.

David Stark, president and creative director of David Stark Design and Production, joined BizBash editor in chief Chad Kaydo on the main stage to discuss current market trends during the general session.

trends, as well as the wave of teambuilding and charitable formats becoming popular in the new economy. Panelists were Meredith Barsky, director of catering for Pier Sixty and The Lighthouse; James Dale, senior director of catering, Eastern Division, Hyatt Hotels; Cheryl Kahn Brocco, director of catering for Bridgewaters, Twenty Four Fifth, and the Reach Resort; and Charles Barrett, director of catering sales for the New York Marriott Marquis. Ray Hansen, director of IML, led a session titled “New Media in Practice: Putting Social Media to Work for Your Events,” giving attendees information on building their personal brands and why contributing to online conversations on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter is so important in today’s technology-focused world. Hansen incorporated IML’s polling device into his presentation, obtaining on-the-spot feedback from session attendees. Attendees gathered beneath an enormous, elegant crystal chandelier and

were flanked by LCD color-changing columns, all provided by Dazian Fabrics, right before the start of the morning general session at 10:15 a.m., sponsored by Dave & Buster’s. The session opened with a brief yet captivating performance by Quick Change Act, represented by BongarBiz. This part magic, part dance duo left audience members asking each other just how the performers were able to run through a multitude of split-second costume changes right before their eyes. The main stage was dressed in an elegant silver custom-pleated Austrian stage curtain and surrounding room drape, specially created for BizBash by Rosebrand and now in stock. Stage production and technology management were provided by Impact Arts Event Group. BML Blackbird Theatrical Services handled all production services on the main stage and teamed up with video media designers Glow Design Group to create support media for the event. BML also debuted high-tech new Bose speakers that produced excellent sound in a compact design.

With the entertainment complete, the official program began with inductions to the 2009 New York Hall of Fame. This year’s inductees were Anthony Napoli, president and owner of Briggs Inc.; the Robin Hood Foundation; and Katharine Stapleton, executive director for both the Greater New York chapters of H.S.M.A.I. and M.P.I. Each was presented with an inscribed silver charger acknowledging their contributions to the New York event industry. Immediately following the induction ceremony, Chad Kaydo, editor in chief of BizBash, took the stage for his presentation “The Latest Trends in the Changing Events Landscape.” Kaydo shared some cool ideas from events covered in BizBash during the past year. David Stark, president and creative director of David Stark Design & Production, joined him onstage and inspired attendees with examples of his work and how he transforms everyday items such as cardboard, fi lm, and Post-It notes into magical event decor.

PROMOTION president of BongarBiz; “An Event to Remember: Designing Spectacular Events” with Jerry Sibal, owner and president of DesignFusion; and “The ABCs of Furniture Rental” with Rhonda Cosaluzzo, rental consultant for AFR Furnishings. These sessions were interspersed with entertainment including Unexpected Boys—a musical tribute to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons presented by Bella Notte Entertainment—and La Femme Classique, a female string group presented by Elan Artists that specializes in a fusion of contemporary and modern lounge styles. As the afternoon continued, the show floor remained crowded and energized as planners and exhibitors connected. Attendees relaxed in a stylish floor lounge designed by AFR Furnishings while enjoying the sounds from Skam Artist’s DJ booth. The lounge featured three seating areas that replicated the show theme with a range of

colors from pale yellow leather to blue suede, complemented by lush fabrics and throws. Jerry Sibal of DesignFusion provided the floral accents for the area, in addition to those provided on the mini stage and throughout the show floor. The education sessions resumed at 2 p.m., and planners packed the rooms for programs such as “Don’t Let This Happen to You: War Stories From Event Veterans” and “Michael Cerbelli’s: Hot Event & Entertainment Ideas 2009.” The 3:15 p.m. afternoon general session, again sponsored by Dave & Buster’s, featured Rockwell Group president and founder David Rockwell. Rockwell wowed the audience as he shared how he translated his love of theater and public spaces into his work on the book Spectacle. The book is a collection of images and stories that portray how celebrations and rituals worldwide can bring people together for experiences that become unforgettable, larger-than-life events.

Attendees relaxed and networked in a luxurious lounge environment created by AFR Furnishings on the show floor.

David Rockwell, president and founder of Rockwell Group, interacted with attendees at the BizBash bookstore following his afternoon keynote session.

Attendees took time from the busy show floor to enjoy manicures provided by Sparty.

BizBash’s Twitter Lounge provided on-site experts who helped guests tweet and a live scroll of the action.


The show floor opened promptly at 11 a.m. for exhibitors to showcase their venues, products, and entertainment ideas, while Allegiance Protection Group handled on-site security. Attendees interacted with on-floor entertainment including the Grasshoppers and Mirror Man by Acroback Productions, and two life-size M&M’s who posed for pictures. They also visited the BizBash bookstore from Breakpoint Books, which featured tools of the trade for event planners, as well as book signings with speakers. Nearby, attendees started tweeting with help from the Twitter Lounge experts, including Diana Gould Ltd., Fifth Avenue Digital, The Glazier Group, and Pink Inc., while onlookers watched a live event scroll on the BizBash Twitter feed. In the afternoon, the mini stage was a flurry of activity, with several 20-minute sessions that educated and entertained. Among them were “10 Cost-Saving Ideas for Entertainment” with Michael Bongar,


Screaming Queens Entertainment’s models strolled the aisles as living tables.

Education sessions were standing-room-only as attendees learned about the latest industry issues and trends.

As the show floor wound down, the main stage heated up once again as the BizBash Event Style Awards were bestowed upon New York-area events. The award presentation, sponsored by Classic Party Rentals, began at 5 p.m. with an encore performance by Quick Change. The award judging took place at Planet Hollywood, where a panel of New York event industry professionals and BizBash editors reviewed and judged entries in 18 categories.

Winners received elegantly designed crystal B-shaped awards etched with their category, the year, and the BizBash logo. The awards were custom crafted by Society Awards, creators of the Golden Globe awards. Immediately following the Event Style Awards, attendees made their way to the debut of SIR Stage 37. The soundstage, just steps away from the Javits Center, hosted a final cocktail reception to celebrate the award winners. Guests took the opportunity

to unwind and mingle while enjoying SIR Stage 37’s entertainment and cocktails mixed with Skyy Vodka. Brightroom, the official photographer, captured all of the action, from the preparty to the post-expo celebration toast. BizBash thanks the Javits Center’s staff, official Event Style Awards sponsor Classic Party Rentals, exhibitors, sponsors, and attendees—all of whom made the New York Expo & Awards an event to remember.

Event sponsors:

afr Furniture Rental

BML Blackbird

Metropolitan exposition

Classic Party Rentals M&M’s

Design Fusion

e-vents registration

Corporate Audio Visual Services


Dazian Fabrics

Planet Hollywood

Cort Event Furnishings

Glow Design Group

Allegiance Protection Group iml Dave and Buster’s

Society Awards

S.I.R. Stage37 Skyy Vodka

Continental Airlines


S.K.A.M. Artist Alpine Creative Group

Freshdirect PJR Management, Inc.

illumination Marketing + Events

NMR Staging and Events

Rose Brand

Marriott Residence Inn

Bella Notte

Stone Security Services


Hudson Terrace

Sports Events U.S. Open Roger Federer’s emotional loss to


TOP 100

EVENTS Year after year, these annual gatherings keep New York’s event business—and their respective industries—buzzing. Here’s a look at how they continue to thrive in tumultuous times. By MICHAEL O’CONNELL & ANNA SEKULA The recession and its ensuing rebound haven’t made for the most hospitable climate for events. Many of New York’s corporations, nonprofits, and other institutions have been forced to rethink the ways they approach their yearly parties, festivals, fund-raisers, and trade shows. But in the necessary retooling, young events like the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Downtown Dinner and stalwarts such as MoMA’s Party in the Garden have proven their place on our annual ON BIZBASH.COM list of the city’s top events—some have even climbed a few Our Top 100 lists from notches. While many events keep trying to find their footing, years past, plus reports from many of these events these will continue to command influence in 2010.

1. Juan Martín del Potro and Serena Williams’s courtside tantrum were two of the most talkedabout moments at the 2009 tournament, which brought in a new attendance record of 721,059. It returns August 30 to September 13. 2. ING New York City Marathon Nearly 44,000 runners traversed all five boroughs for the New York Road Runners’ 40th anniversary race in 2009, when Meb Keflezighi became the first American to win since 1982. This year’s race kicks off on Staten Island on November 7. 3. N.F.L. Draft After earning the unfortunate distinction of being the first team in N.F.L. history to finish a season at 0-16, the Detroit Lions got first pick at the 2009 draft at Radio City Music Hall. ESPN and the N.F.L. network will once again broadcast the recruiting event this year, when it adopts a new three-day format April 22 to 24. 4. N.B.A. Draft Pro basketball descends on the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden to divvy up the pool of new players on June 24. In just two quick rounds, the 2009 draft saw 60 players recruited. 5. Belmont Stakes Attendance at the prestigious race dropped 44 percent in 2009 to just under 53,000, but bookies around the country still handled almost $90 million worth of bets. Race lovers are hoping the 31-year Triple Crown winner drought comes to an end on June 5. Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show More than 2,500 dogs representing upward of 150 breeds will be displayed, paraded, and downright groped when the 135-year-old event returns to Madison Square Garden on February 15 and 16.

6. january/february 2010 83

NEW YORK’S TOP 100 EVENTS Food & Restaurant Industry Events

Media Events

1. James Beard Awards Culinary leaders flock

the news magazine’s party for the world’s most influential people has become one of the more star-studded affairs in town. The 2009 event, held again at Jazz at Lincoln Center, produced a particularly famous photo op when Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey sat side by side at the head table. The 2010 event is slated for May. 2. National Magazine Awards With fewer titles to shower with accolades but an additional 12 categories added since the 2009 awards, the 2010 Ellies will take place in two parts. The traditional black-tie presentation is scheduled for June 4, after the new awards—focused on digital media—are handed out at a luncheon earlier in the day. 3. National Book Foundation’s National Book Awards The foundation celebrated 60 years in November 2009, handing out special awards to Gore Vidal and David Eggers. The night included dinner, the award presentation, and a less formal after-party. 4. The New Yorker Festival Celebrating a decade of cultural programming, the 2009 festival was forced to downsize from its originally scheduled weeklong run to its typical three-day format— while still managing to lure in panelists such as MSNBC commentator Rachel Maddow, movie mogul Tyler Perry, and actress Tilda Swinton. The festival is expected to return in October. 5. Peabody Awards [Up from 7] The world’s oldest prize in electronic media, the television accolades honor everything from international reportage to primetime sitcoms. The University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass

Communication, which administers the awards, will host this year at the Waldorf-Astoria on May 17. 6. The Webby Awards [Up from 8] Capping the three-year-old Internet Week New York, the 2010 online honors will return to Cipriani Wall Street on June 14. Achievements in online advertising, film, and video will be recognized, in addition to awards for the year’s best Web sites. 7. Glamour Women of the Year Awards [Up from 9] With a serious red carpet and oftentearful tributes to the achievements of that second X chromosome, Glamour’s flagship event toasted Rihanna at the 2009 presentation at Carnegie Hall. Other famous ladies who made it to the party included Amy Poehler, Maria Shriver, and jailed journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee. 8. Matrix Awards New York Women in Communications will honor The New York Times’ Susan Chira, Google’s Marissa Mayer, and media personality Gayle King at the 2010 award luncheon. NBC anchor Brian Williams will M.C. the April 29 event at the Waldorf-Astoria. 9. Literacy Partners’ Evening of Readings Gala The adult literacy nonprofit pulled in big names and numbers for its 25th anniversary event. Director Stephen Daldry, Martha Stewart, and Barbara Walters were among those on hand to raise more than $1.2 million. The event returns this May. 10. PEN Literary Gala Well-dressed and well-read guests of the international literary organization’s annual event gather each spring at the American Museum of Natural History to discuss the publishing industry while raising money for the nonprofit’s literary efforts.

Hospitality Industry Events International Hotel, Motel, and Restaurant

1. Show Some 35,000 attendees and more than 1,000 exhibitors make this 94-year-old expo a biggie for the hospitality industry. Held in the Javits Center, the 2009 iteration introduced an 8,000-square-foot area dedicated to food trends. The 2010 show will take place November 13 to 16. 2. N.Y.U.’s Hospitality and Investment Conference A who’s who of hotel finance and development—including Jonathan M. Tisch and Ivanka Trump—attend and speak at this networking event. The conference returns June 6 to 8 at the Marriott Marquis. 3. H.S.M.A.I. Adrian Awards Established in 1957, the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International’s awards honor the best in hospitality, travel, and tourism. The 2010 ceremony is scheduled for February 1 at the Marriott Marquis.

84 january/february 2010

to this influential event, when the James Beard Foundation honors the year’s top chefs, restaurants, cookbooks, and journalists. The May ceremony drew some 1,700 guests to Avery Fisher Hall; the award dinner will return there May 3. 2. Fancy Food Show As the city’s largest exhibition of specialty foods, this show attracts more than 24,000 attendees, 2,300 exhibitors, and 140,000 products. Before the National Association for Specialty Food Trade moves its event to Washington in 2011, the expo will return to the Javits from June 27 to 29.


New York City Wine & Food Festival [Up from 4] In its second year the four-day festival broadened its scope to attract more than 40,000 attendees to 120 separate events. Stars from title sponsor the Food Network—like Paula Deen, Guy Fieri, and Giada De Laurentiis— headlined many of the bigger parties. The next run is slated for October 8 to 11. 4. International Restaurant and Foodservice Show of New York While it gets support from some industry heavyweights, the New York State Restaurant Association’s Javits Center expo targets more equipment and service-based vendors than chefs. The 2010 show is scheduled to welcome about 14,000 attendees from February 28 to March 2. Chef’s Tribute to Citymeals-onWheels Some of New York’s most noted cooks—Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Jonathan Waxman, and Larry Forgione among them—participate in this fund-raiser by dishing up an enormous spread. The event raised approximately $735,000 in 2009, and returns to Rockefeller Center on June 14. 6. Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs Event Honoring the nation’s top toques, this cocktail reception from the food magazine gathers past winners to feed guests. Last year, 500 invitees joined chefs such as Michael Psilakis and Laurent Tourondel at City Winery. The event is scheduled to return in April.



1. Time 100 Gala [Up from 3] In just six years,

Fashion & Beauty Industry Events 1. Fashion Week The next run—February 11 to 18—will be the last in Bryant Park, and in September, the American fashion trade’s largest event will move to a new home at Lincoln Center, where former Vogue staffer Stephanie Winston Wolkoff will oversee it as the center’s director of Fashion Week.

Trade Shows & Conventions

1. New York International Auto Show A trying



Council of Fashion Designers of America’s Awards Michelle Obama snagged the Board of Directors’ Special Tribute award at the June 2009 affair, which entertained 700 of the biggest names in fashion at Alice Tully Hall. The C.F.D.A.’s 2010 ceremony is slated for June 7. 3. FiFi Awards For leaders in beauty, the Fragrance Foundation’s annual honors carry a lot of weight, and in 2009, some 750 guests mingled at the 69th Regiment Armory. The awards are slated to return to the Armory on June 10. 4. Fashion Group International’s Night of Stars Benefit This glamorous award event lives up to its billing, typically drawing a parade of A-list Hollywood types and big names in fashion. The October 2009 gala at Cipriani Wall Street recognized designers such as Oscar de la Renta, Kenneth Cole, and Michael Kors. 5. International Beauty Show Open to licensed beauty professionals, this expo at the Javits Center attracted more than 53,000 attendees and 450 exhibitors last year and expects a similar number for its next run, from March 7 to 9. 6. American Cancer Society Dream Ball At the 25th edition of this gala, more than 500 guests marked the 20th anniversary of the “Look Good… Feel Better” program at the Waldorf-Astoria. Held on September 24, the event raised $1.8 million. 7. Accessories Council ACE Awards Honoring those who boost sales and promote accessories at a consumer level, this November 2 event at Cipriani 42nd Street presented Lady GaGa with the Stylemaker award. One to Watch Fashion’s Night Out Organized by Vogue, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and NYC & Company, last year’s freshman outing of this confidence-boosting shopping initiative saw more than 800 retailers host individual parties open to the public. While the event is not yet a yearly fixture, it is slated to return on September 10.

show organizers relaunched the show’s Web site to build community among attendees year-round. 5. The Greater New York Dental Meeting The more than 57,000 health-care professionals and 1,500 technical exhibits at the November 27 to December 2 congress make it the city’s biggest annual medical assembly by far, and the largest dental gathering in the country. 6. American International Toy Fair With 350,000 square feet on the show floor, 100,000 products— including 7,000 launches expected this year— more than 20,000 attendees, 1,200 exhibitors, and an additional 1,000 members of the international media, the toy fair touts some hefty numbers. The 2010 incarnation hits the Javits Center from February 14 to 17. 7. National Retail Federation Annual Convention and Expo “Retail’s big show” meets for the 99th time January 10 to 13 at the Javits Center. The expected 17,000 attendees will have the chance to hear from a diverse group of speakers, including designer Tory Burch, former J.C. Penney C.E.O. Allen Questrom, and Dunkin’ Brands Inc. executive chairman Jon L. Luther. 8. PDN PhotoPlus International Conference and Expo Canon, Kodak, and Nikon are just a few of the exhibitors who plan to court the estimated New York Comic Con [Up from 4] In just 27,000 attendees at the 2010 summit of photogfour years, this East Coast pop-culture fest has raphy enthusiasts and professionals. The indusproven to be real competition to its venerable try’s biggest event is scheduled to run at the Javits (and unrelated) San Diego predecessor. A 13,000Center from October 28 to 30. person jump in attendance to 77,000 last year also 9. International Vision Expo East The 2009 gathmakes it one the city’s fastest-growing events. ering of opticians brought more than 14,000 to Publishers, fans, filmmakers, and cult stars will the Javits Center, where it returns March 18 to 21 have a dilemma in 2010, though: The new October with a conference and exhibition focused on edu8 to 10 slot is in direct competition with newcation, fashion, technology, and advice for improvcomer Big Apple Comic Con. ing business in an unfavorable economy. 4. New York International Gift Fair The biannual 10. National Stationery Show If it’s made of gathering of niche retailers did its best to combat paper, you’ll probably find it at this 64-year-old shrinking sales in 2009, drawing 2,700 exhibitors trade show. Producers anticipate similar numbers and 31,000 guests in its August outing. To mainto 2009’s 12,000 buyers and 900 exhibitors when tain momentum for its 2010 return to the Javits the show returns to the Javits Center from May 16 Center and Pier 94 from January 30 to February 4, to 19 with more than 10,000 product lines. year for American automakers and consumers did little to dampen the city’s largest annual trade show. After once again attracting around one million attendees to the Javits Center for its 2009 outing, the 2010 auto show returns April 2 to 11. 2. New York National Boat Show Following a oneoff move to December in 2008, a slightly retooled incarnation of the boater’s ultimate playground returns in 2010 with a new five-day format, from January 20 to 24. An estimated 1,000 watercraft are expected to cover the floor of the Javits Center for the show’s 105th anniversary.

3. january/february 2010 85

Entertainment Industry Events Upfront Week TV networks rebounded from the writers-strike-addled 2008 upfronts with a renewed commitment in 2009 to the yearly gathering of advertisers and media buyers. The May presentations of their fall schedules were followed by lavish parties, including a celebrity-filled CW event on the roof of the Gramercy Hotel The Fox presentation and a three-floor celebration for CBS at Upfront Week at Terminal 5. 2. Tribeca Film Festival Though overall attendance shrank to 348,000 in 2009 for the city’s largest film festival, attendance at ticketed events increased and more than 95 percent of screenings reached capacity audiences. The nine-year-old outing returns April 21 through May 2. 3. New York Film Festival Screenings of Oscar bait like Precious and Broken Embraces punctuated the highly regarded film festival’s 2009 schedule, which ran September 25 to October 11. It’s the last big stop on the festival circuit before award season and includes an opening-night party at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. 4. Tony Awards [Up from 5] Last year was a good one for the Tonys. Tapping Broadway veteran and television personality Neil Patrick Harris to host helped boost broadcast ratings by 20 percent, and holding a seated simulcast for 1,000 in Times


Square gave the event more buzz in the city. The 2010 show is set for June 13 at Radio City Music Hall. 5. CMJ Music Marathon and Film Festival More than 100,000 music lovers invaded Manhattan and Brooklyn venues over the course of College Music Journal’s annual festival last October. The concert series returns October 19 with 120,000 fans and 1,200 artists over five days. 6. New York Television Festival [Up from 7] Its fifth outing saw the industry’s first recognized independent television festival outgrow its New World Stages home and hold additional premieres and panels at the Paley Center and the TimesCenter. Producers also took advantage of an overlap with Advertising Week to promote networking between TV and ad executives. The sixth festival is set for September. 7. Film Society of Lincoln Center Tribute [New to the List] Julia Roberts brought attention to the society’s annual honor for Hollywood heavyweights when her profane homage to 2009 honoree Tom Hanks earned her—and the 37-year-old gala—international headlines. Another star will join Hanks and previous honorees such as Dennis Hoffman, Diane Keaton, and Meryl Streep when the show returns to Alice Tully Hall in April. 8. Museum of the Moving Image Salute The 25th anniversary of the film honor moved from Cipriani 42nd Street to 583 Park Avenue for the December 1 gala, when friends and colleagues of Clint Eastwood gathered to honor the actor and director. 9. Gotham Awards The Hurt Locker took home best feature and best ensemble performance at the 19th annual Gotham Independent Film Awards in 2009. The November 30 event, hosted by the Independent Film Project at Cipriani Wall Street, included presentations by Meryl Streep, Ellen Burstyn, and Willem Dafoe.

Political, Legal & Diplomatic Events 1. Clinton Global Initiative In just five years,

members of the Clinton Global Initiative have made nearly $57 billion worth of commitments to world relief—$9.4 billion of which came out of the 2009 meeting at the Sheraton New York. 2. Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner It may not always be the media darling that it is during an election year, but the annual dinner hosted by the Archdiocese of New York brings a crowd of more than 1,000 politicians, celebrities, and Roman Catholic socials to the WaldorfAstoria each October. 3. New York State Bar Association Annual Meeting An expected 5,000 local lawyers will meet January 25 to January 30, when the powwow moves from the New York Marriott Marquis to the Hilton New York. Event tie-ins will include a career development conference, a reception for minority lawyers, and several networking dinners and cocktail hours. 4. U.N.A.-U.S.A Global Leadership Awards Dinner On November 23, the United Nations Association marked the 10th anniversary of its Global Classrooms initiative by honoring World Trade Center Memorial Foundation chairman John Whitehead for his career in business and diplomacy. Lesley Stahl hosted the 400-seat event at Cipriani 42nd Street. 5. Hospitality Committee for the U.N. Delegations Ambassador’s Ball United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his wife, Ban Soon-Taek, received honors at the 2009 diplomatic gala, held at Cipriani 42nd Street. It will return May 2010. 6. The Inner Circle Show Caroline Kennedy came out of hiding to poke fun at Mayor Michael Bloomberg—and her failed bid for Hillary Clinton’s vacated U.S. Senate seat—at the 2009 edition of the Inner Circle of City Hall Journalists roast. The $500 ticket event returns to the grand ballroom at the New York Hilton on March 27.

Advertising Industry Events Week Several dozen advertising orga1. Advertising nizations come together each fall to make New

Night of the Adeaters at Advertising Week

86 january/february 2010

York a nurturing environment for ad professionals looking to learn, network, blow off some steam, and pat each other on the back. About 40,000 local and visiting attendees are expected to attend September 27 to October 1. 2. Advertising Council’s Public Service Awards When the council honored Coca-Cola Company chairman and C.E.O. Muhtar Kent at the November 19 dinner celebrating corporate philanthropy, more than 1,000 industry leaders joined them at the Waldorf-Astoria. . 3. Ad:Tech [Up from 5] The New York incarnation of the international digital marketing conference gathered steam in 2009 with a move to a bigger venue—the Javits Center—and keynote presenta-

tions from Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and News Corporation chief digital officer Jonathan Miller. After making the rounds in cities such as Paris, San Francisco, and Tokyo earlier in the year, Ad:Tech returns to New York in early November. 4. One Club’s One Show For its 2010 gala award presentation—honoring advertisements in all media—the One Show takes its kudofest for more than 1,000 to Alice Tully Hall. This year’s event promises advertising viewing “with no television interruption.” 5. American Marketing Association’s New York chapter’s Effie Awards Held again at Cipriani 42nd Street, last year’s Effies bestowed their highest honor on Burger King and Crispin Porter & Bogusky for the “Whopper Freakout” viral campaign. The awards return to the same venue June 8.




Benefits 1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume

7. The Metropolitan Opera’s Opening Night Gala

Institute Benefit Still called the “party of the year,” this much-buzzed-about gala is attended by fashion’s biggest names, plus plenty of celebrities. Vogue’s Anna Wintour co-chairs the event each year, and Sylvana Soto-Ward, Vogue’s new event director, will oversee the May 3 benefit, which celebrates the Met’s “American Women: Fashioning a National Identity” exhibit. 2. Robin Hood Foundation Benefit Although the Costume Institute is the biggest media draw in town, this nonprofit gala’s multimillion-dollar fund-raising take is hard to ignore. Last year’s event for nearly 4,000 guests—a mix of finance, media, and entertainment types—raised a record $72.6 million, almost all of it anonymous donations from attendees. The benefit is back at the Javits Center on May 10. 3. Whitney Museum of American Art Fall Gala Chairs Donatella Versace, Penelope Cruz, and Liz Swig held court at the Whitney’s biggest event on October 19 last year. Bronson van Wyck produced the black-tie dinner for 500—followed by an afterparty for twice as many—which honored Leonard Lauder and raised more than $2.5 million. 4. American Ballet Theatre Spring Gala Still a high priority for the social set, the American Ballet Theatre celebrates the opening of every season with a black-tie gala. Last year, the event saw 1,050 guests inside the tent at Lincoln Center and a fund-raising total of $1.5 million. The 2010 gala is scheduled for May 17. 5. The Museum of Modern Art’s Party in the Garden [Up from 6] MoMA continues to reinvent its annual fund-raiser, and last May, the dinner and after-party drew upward of 1,000 high-profile names to a more casual affair marked by lower ticket prices and comfort food. With performances by Estelle and DJ Cassidy, the gala raised more than $1.8 million.

The Met opened its season with the debut of Luc Bondy’s production of Puccini’s Tosca on September 21, an event attended by patrons such as Martha Stewart and Barry Diller. Continuing a tradition started in 2006, the performance was also relayed live to outdoor screens in Times Square and Josie Robertson Plaza. 8. New York Public Library Lions Benefit Guests of affluence and influence attend the literary institution’s November gala, which in 2009 honored five distinguished individuals, including Pulitzer Prizewinning author Annie Proulx and Eloise illustrator Hilary Knight. The evening netted nearly $3 million for the library’s acquisition budget.

9. Central Park Conservancy’s Frederick Law

Olmsted Award Luncheon A sea of ladies in elaborate hats marks this spring fund-raiser hosted by the Women’s Committee of the Central Park Conservancy. Bette Midler and Evelyn Lauder were among the 1,200 guests at last year’s luncheon, which raised $2.1 million for the park. The event is slated to return May 5. 10. Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Spring Gala Introduced in 2008 as a replacement for its Awards for Excellence gala, the society’s dinner-dance last year drew nearly $1 million and a mix of names, including Robert De Niro, LL Cool J, and Kathy Lee Gifford. The ball returns on May 18 and will move from the Plaza to the Pierre. 11. The New York Botanical Garden’s Conservancy Ball More than 600 guests attend this Bronx black-tie ball, which will close out the spring gala season on June 3. Last year’s Cartiersponsored soiree brought Barbara Tober, Sigourney Weaver, and other philanthropists to the Garden’s Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. Frick Collection’s Young Fellows Ball Although 12. Friends of the High Line Benefit [Up from 13] less influential than in past years, the museum’s Championed by the likes of Diane von Furstenberg ball still attracts a bevy of young art patrons. The and Edward Norton, this grassroots organization’s Monique Lhuillier- and Ivanka Trump-sponsored event has risen through the ranks of important event on February 26 drew more than 600 guests benefits. Last year, its ninth gala toasted the longand raised more than $270,000. This year’s iteration awaited opening of the High Line with about 1,000 will take place February 25. supporters. The event raised more than $2 million.



Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation’s Kids for Kids Benefit Following a stint at the Park Avenue Armory in 2008, last year’s family carnival moved back to the West Village’s Industria Superstudio on October 24. Smaller than the previous year, the event was attended by nearly 1,000 guests and raised about $1.5 million for the 20-year-old H.I.V. treatment and prevention organization. 14. Winter Antiques Show Opening Night Gala This widely respected antique fair opens every show with a benefit party for the East Side House Settlement and last year welcomed about 2,500 guests to the Park Avenue Armory. Bank of America’s president of global wealth and investment management, Sallie Krawcheck, will chair the 2010 event, scheduled for January 21. 15. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Opening Gala Marking Judith Jamison’s 20th year as the artistic director of the modern dance organization, Alvin Ailey’s December 2 event included a performance at New York City Center and dinner at the Hilton New York’s grand ballroom. Denzel and Pauletta Washington were the gala’s honored guests and co-chairs. 16. New York City Ballet Opening Night Benefit The November 24 gala, the company’s first performance in the newly renovated David H. Koch Theater, launched the ballet’s yearlong retrospective repertory in honor of Lincoln Center’s 50th anniversary. In 2008, the event raised $1.26 million. 17. Breast Cancer Research Foundation Benefit At the nonprofit’s 2009 spring fund-raiser, dubbed the “Hot Pink Party,” Liza Minnelli performed alongside Elton John. More than 750 supporters turned out for the event, which raised nearly $3.7 million. The benefit returns to the Waldorf-Astoria on April 27. 18. New York City Opera’s Spring Gala Due to construction, last year’s gala was put on hiatus and the organization’s biggest event was the reopening celebration on November 5. Honoring benefactor David H. Koch, the evening was attended by 675 guests and raised $2.3 million. The spring benefit is scheduled to return in March. 19. Museum of the City of New York’s Director’s Council Winter Ball An influential crowd of New York’s social set gathers at the Upper East Side museum every March for this gala. Last year, sponsor Versace dressed some of the 600 guests, including Meredith Melling Burke and Celerie Kemble, and the event raised $470,000. january/february 2010 87

NEW YORK’S TOP 100 EVENTS Art & Design Events 5.


PR Industry Events


to Tavern on the Green on March 5. The ceremony crowned Ketchum and Ikea’s “Mark Lives in Ikea” initiative as the campaign of the year. The event will return to a new venue in March. 3. P.R.S.A. New York Chapter’s Big Apple Awards The 22nd annual event for P.R.S.A.’s New York chapter gathered about 300 industry professionals on May 21 last year, when PainePR was named “Best of the Best” for its Iams holiday campaign. Traditionally held at the Rainbow Room, the dinner—tentatively set for May ON BIZBASH.COM 27—will this year Our Top 100 lists from move to a new years past, plus reports location. from many of these events

pedestrian-friendly stretch of Broadway forced the parade to change its route in 2009, snaking around the southwest corner of Central Park to Seventh Avenue. The parade drew an estimated 3.5 million spectators and included other firsts such as a new float for Santa and balloon versions of Spider-Man, Ronald McDonald, and the Pillsbury Doughboy. 2. New Year’s Eve in Times Square The one million revelers crowding Times Square in the hours before midnight are small potatoes compared with the one billion around the world who watch the iconic ball drop on television. Newly refurbished, the ball now weighs six tons, holds 2,268 Waterford crystals, and is backlit by 32,256 Philips LEDs. 3. West Indian-American Day Carnival [Up from 4] Nearly three million paradegoers swell the population of Brooklyn when this five-day festival culminates in a Labor Day parade. There are enough bands, dancers, and bright colors to almost give Mardi Gras a run for its money. 4. National Puerto Rican Day Parade [Up from 4] Adding tens of thousands of spectators each year, attendance at the annual celebration of all things Boricua is quickly approaching the three million mark. This year’s 53rd installment marches up Fifth Avenue from 44th Street to 86th Street on June 13. 5. St. Patrick’s Day Parade An estimated 850,000 Irish, Irish at heart, and others just looking for a reason to drink on a weekday afternoon crowded Fifth Avenue in 2009 for one of the oldest parades in the country. Its 249th running takes place on—you guessed it—March 17. 6. Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting NBC got a chance to celebrate on its front lawn again in 2009, when it broadcast the city’s most recognizable holiday tradition on December 2. Michael Bublé, Aretha Franklin, and Barry Manilow performed in front of the 76-foot Norway spruce, brought in from Connecticut. 7. Village Halloween Parade Thanks to news reports about the tradition’s sponsorship woes, an outpouring of public—and corporate—support helped the 2009 parade afford a few lastminute floats to carry on as usual and entertain the nearly two million spectators lining the Avenue of the Americas. 8. NYC PrideFest and Parade New York’s celebration of Gay and Lesbian Pride Month spans the week of June 19 to 27 this year and finishes off with the million-strong parade, which files down Fifth Avenue before winding its way into the West Village, where the party continues throughout the night. 9. AIDS Walk New York Signage throughout the city, celebrity-studded PSAs encouraging donations, and an anticipated 45,000 participants raised nearly $6 million for H.I.V. programs and services at last year’s walk. The Central Park event returns in May 2010 for its 25th anniversary.


1. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade The newly

Diffa’s Dining by Design Held in seven U.S. cities throughout the year, the show allows event and interior designers to be as playful as they like in designing tables for a fundThe Armory Show Devoted to important raising dinner. works from the 20th and 21st centuries, the annual The Design showcase of contemporary art is a must-attend Industries for artists, critics, curators, and enthusiasts. The Foundation 11-year-old show occupies all of the 69th Regiment Fighting AIDS Armory and Piers 92 and 94 for its March 4 to 7 run. timed last 2. International Contemporary Furniture Fair year’s New York Design from around the globe was on display for installment of the more than 23,000 attendees who stopped by the flagship the Javits Center during the fair’s 2009 edition, event, held at which hosted 552 exhibitors from 34 countries, 38 Skylight, to the Architectural Digest Home Design percent of whom were first-timers. The 2010 fair Show to boost its haul. returns May 15 to 18. 6. Dia Art Foundation Gala Around 300 arts 3. Cooper-Hewitt National Design Awards patrons, including actor James Franco, made Temporarily displaced by renovations and an the trek to Washington Heights on November 9 expansion project at the institution’s Upper East for the nonprofit’s annual fall gala, which hosts Side home, the 2009 awards moved to Cipriani guests for a seated dinner at the Church of the 42nd Street, where more than 575 guests watched Intercession after drinks across the street at the Paula Zahn serve as M.C. Pending the timely Hispanic Society of America. completion of renovations, the show will return to 7. Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Downtown the museum’s Arthur Ross Terrace and Garden on Dinner [New to the List] Spanning an entire floor October 14. of unoccupied office space atop 7 World Trade 4. The Art Show The Seventh Regiment Armory Center, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s opens its doors to the Art Dealers Association of annual Downtown Dinner hosted 500 for a night America again March 3 to 7 for the 22nd annual honoring its patrons and soliciting additional showcase. A gala preview of the 70 selected exhibi- funding for its artists, several of whom showcased tions will benefit local art institution the Henry their work in the decor and performances. The Street Settlement. event returns for the sixth year in April.

1. P.R.S.A.’s Silver Anvil Awards Then-White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs nabbed the PR professional of the year award at the Public Relations Society of America’s event at the Equitable Center last year. The 2010 dinner returns to the same venue in June. PR Week Awards The 10th annual awards for this industry publication brought 1,000 guests

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For the Dumbo Art Under the Bridge Festival in September, designer Sean Capone (347.546.2265, created “Camera Rosetum,” a series of video projections in a tunnel beneath the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn. Capone worked with Dale Cihi of VideoFilm Systems (203.866.7319) to illuminate the ceiling of the tunnel with a rotating constellation of patterns, arabesques, and floral motifs.

Bright Spots From art installations to concerts to cocktail lounges, here are some of the latest innovations and ideas in lighting design. By LISA CERICOLA january/february 2010 91

Dining Rooms

For a Van Cleef & Arpels dinner in November 2008, Glow Design Group (646.201.9557, worked with David Beahm Design (212.279.1344, davidbeahm. com) to create an elegant setting lit in a rotating palette of jewel tones. Glow also projected video onto a backdrop by Atomic Design (877.626.8301, and installed Versa Tubes, which added a neon effect and played additional video.

92 january/february 2009

For the Field Museum’s diamond-themed gala in October, Frost (312.642.7612, used 40 digital projectors to show a video clip of tumbling diamonds on an entire wall of Stanley Field Hall, creating a bold backdrop during dinner.

For the February 2009 gala celebrating the reopening of Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Bentley Meeker Lighting and Staging (212.722.3349, worked with 360 Design Events Ltd. (212.905.3000, to create a glowing atmosphere with undulating panels of fabric overhead lit in soft, skin-flattering shades of violet, pink, and green.

Tents For a private event in August, Levy Lighting NYC (212.925.4640, projected a wave pattern onto the outside of a tent made out of sailcloth. To reduce clutter, the equipment was positioned outdoors while the pattern appeared on the inside.

In October, Kinetic Lighting (800.908.3842, worked with Poko Event Productions (310.441.5500, pokoevent. com) to give the Gene Autry Museum of Western Heritage’s annual gala an appropriately country vibe. Kinetic used a video projector to illuminate the outside of the tented dining room with a high-resolution image of women riding horses. Gobos projected patterns on either side of the photograph.


Art Installations Montreal-based artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (514.597.0917, connected lighting and the human voice with his installation “Levels of Nothingness,” which debuted in September as part of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s “Works & Process” series. While narrator Isabella Rossellini read philosophical texts, computers analyzed her voice, generating a colorful, interactive lighting performance from a full rig of concert lighting provided by Scharff Weisberg Inc. (212.582.2345,

Open since July, “Sunflowers, an Electric Garden” is a solar art installation in Austin, Texas, created by Harries/Héder Collaborative (617.491.5660,, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based firm specializing in public art. The flowers have photovoltaic solar collector panels that generate solar energy during the day and cast a blue glow over a pedestrian walkway at night.

In June, artist Anthony McCall (212.925.5821, brought his 3-D light sculpture “Between You and I” to Governors Island as part of Creative Time’s public art quadrennial. In the island’s St. Cornelius Chapel, two ghostly light projections interacted with each other, the visitors, and the architecture of the dark church. january/february 2009 93

For a Halloween party at New York’s Buddha Bar, Caramel Production (212.691.9122, stretched fabric over the venue’s large skylight to create a surface for a flickering fire projection.

Staging Barkley Kalpak Associates (212.947.1502, built a futuristic command center to showcase new technologies at the World Congress on Intelligent Transportation Systems in November 2008. BKA lit the display with equipment from PRG (845.567.5700,, including overhead lights, stacked HD projectors, and LED and moving light fixtures programmed in time with video segments playing on the central screen.

94 january/february 2009



For the Public Enemies premiere party in Los Angeles, Entertainment Lighting Services (818.769.9800, and Angel City Designs (818.997.1662, used an array of old-fashioned pendant and table lamps to create a space inspired by a 1920s bank. To add color, ELS lit bamboo and other plants with green LEDs.

For U2’s 360° tour, show director and designer Willie Williams worked with production architect and designer Mark Fisher and production director Jake Berry to create one of the largest concert touring structures ever. At the center of the stage was an expandable, movable 360-degree LED video screen made of elongated hexagonal segments. PRG (212.589.5400, provided the lighting, including its Bad Boy automated lights, which throw beams of light 100 feet or more.


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The Mission San Juan Capistrano’s September benefit gala included a concert by Roni Benise in the historic stone church. In order to preserve the site, Shine Lighting (714.255.8500, installed a self-climbing truss that prevented equipment from touching the building. During the performance, moving and LED lights highlighted the architecture of the church with colors and patterns.

For the Killers’ 2009 Day & Age world tour, Christie Lites (416.644.1010, worked with lighting designer Steven Douglas and Westbury National Show Systems (416.752.1371, westbury. com) to create a 91-foot-wide LED video curtain backdrop. january/february 2009 95

new york For the Suit-and-Tie Crowd Although Midtown’s power-lunch spot Lever House closed early last year, its successor, Casa Lever, opened in mid-October. Structurally, little has changed in the restaurant, but some cosmetic touches from designer William Georgis—including the addition of 19 original portraits by Andy Warhol, four of which line the walls of the private dining room—have softened its modernist look. Adjacent to the main room, the 20-seat private area is available for lunch and dinner, Monday through Saturday. (390 Park Ave., 212.888.2700)

For a Minimalist Approach Open since October in the Hotel Gansevoort spot that once housed Ono, Jeffrey Chodorow’s Tanuki Tavern is a more laid-back place for Japanese fare. Spanning two floors and measuring 2,800 square feet, the gastropub’s interior incorporates bamboo flooring and furniture. Overlooking the main 109-seat dining room is the Hana Loft, which seats 60 or holds 80 for receptions. (18 Ninth Ave., 212.660.6766)

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los angeles For a Lot of Wine Lovers Following buzz that started in

For Foodies Thomas Keller’s third Bouchon

For Alfresco Entertaining In October,

February 2009, Philippe West Hollywood—Philippe Chow’s restaurant with Stratis Morfogen—opened in October in the former Dolce space. A private room seats 80 or holds 125 for a reception. A wine cellar seats 14 for private events. Signature dishes include Peking duck and hand-pulled noodles in pork or veal bean sauce. Philippe serves lunch and dinner. (8284 Melrose Ave., 310.951.1100)

opened in Beverly Hills in November, with a private dining room for 16. A pewter bar, mosaic floors, and a mural create a backdrop for the French cuisine. Bar Bouchon, an adjacent wine bar, opened in December. (235 North Cañon Drive, Beverly Hills, 310.271.9910)

the Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills opened its Italian-influenced restaurant Oliverio. Kelly Wearstler designed the interior, and private poolside cabanas seat 12 or hold 30 for receptions. (9400 West Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310.407.7791)

96 january/february 2010

For a Low-Key Meal The Breslin Bar

For Upscale Eats Downtown The Trump SoHo

For a Family-Style Gathering Danny Meyer’s new

& Dining Room opened in October inside the Flatiron district’s new Ace Hotel. The 110-seat casual joint serves pub-style grub amid cozy nooks and curtained booths. A 25-seat mezzanine suits larger groups. (20 West 29th St., 212.555.1212)

hotel is scheduled to open in February and with it Quattro Gastronomia Italiana, the first New York outpost the popular South Beach restaurant. The 190-seat Northern Italian eatery will offer two private rooms on a 1,200-square-foot mezzanine. (246 Spring St., 212.842.5500)

Italian restaurant, Maialino, is modeled after Roman trattorias. Inside Ian Schrager’s Gramercy Park Hotel, the eatery offers a comfortable setting marked by oak wainscoting, beamed ceilings, wood and tile floors, and leather banquettes. For groups, there’s a 22-seat private dining room where chef Nick Anderer serves family-style dishes. (2 Lexington Ave., 212.777.2410)

Try one of these new venues with private dining spaces for an intimate event or meeting. By ALESANDRA DUBIN & ANNA SEKULA

For Night Owls Opened since October, Voyeur is a 6,000-square-foot West Hollywood lounge with a capacity of about 650. A private room with its own entrance and bar holds about 50 for receptions or seats 40. Menu options include tray-passed hors d’oeuvres like roasted figs, yellowtail tartare, and risotto balls; appetizer stations like hummus and babaganoush with pita, artisanal cheeses with crackers, and a raw fish bar; and entrées like roasted leg of lamb and steamed Atlantic salmon. (7969 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, 310.255.1111)

For Buzz Esquire recently named Westside Tavern on a “15 Places Not to Miss” list—so try one or both of its two private rooms for a buzz-worthy meeting. The divisible private space has a large walnut bar, cork-covered walls, and a wall faced in lateral slices of tree trunks; the rooms connect to seat as many as 100 for an event. Westside Tavern offers American comfort food made from fresh California ingredients. (10850 West Pico Blvd., 310.474.5902)


The Directory A selection of resources from our comprehensive online directory of event and meeting suppliers and venues

New York New Venues


will have loft-like guest rooms and suites with high ceilings and French bohemian decor. (1170 Broadway, 212.796.1500)

The EMM Group’s replacement for Lotus opened in October as Abe & Arthur’s, a 202-seat restaurant and lounge with a menu from Franklin Becker. Spread across two levels, the flexible venue offers several areas for private events and groups, including the mezzanine, which has its own bar, restrooms, and DJ booth. (409 West 14th St., 646.289.3930)

Opened in November, the Space Port is a, 32,000-square-foot entertainment facility in New Jersey. Spread over two levels, the 850-capacity venue includes glow-in-the-dark bowling alleys, a large gaming arcade, and areas for paintball and laser tag. For events there are two suites—each with access to a terrace—and three penthouses. (301 Main St., Paterson, N.J., 888.817.7223)



The Peninsula consists of 23 stories, 239 guest rooms, a large spa, (which reopened in October after a renovation), the Salon de Ning rooftop bar and terrace, and 3,300 square feet of meeting space. The largest room, the Gramercy, seats 130. Hidden beneath the hotel’s elegant veneer is a full range of technical support for meetings. (700 Fifth Ave., 212.956.2888)

Stephen Hanson’s B.R. Guest Restaurant Group took over the meatpacking district’s Hog Pit space in October and turned it into a bar and restaurant. Called Bill’s Bar & Burger, the 75-seat eatery serves casual fare like burgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches, complemented by a selection of local and imported beer. (22 Ninth Ave., 212.331.0328)





This new Midtown hotel opened in December with 177 rooms furnished with modern pieces. The Strand Hotel also offers 2,500 square feet of meeting space and a rooftop lounge called Top of the Strand, a sister restaurant to Miami’s seafood grill A Fish Called Avalon. (33 West 37th St., 212.448.1024)

This venture from chef April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman inside the Ace Hotel opened in October. The 130-seat Breslin Bar & Dining Room has a meat-centric menu—including terrines, house made sausages, and dry aged rib eye steak—a chef’s table overlooking the kitchen, and a pub-style interior of wood tables, plaid curtains, and leather booths. (20 West 29th St., 212.555.1212)


Opened in October, this carnival/circus-themed event venue occupies the space directly above Bowlmor Lanes that previously housed Pressure. Carnival offers boardwalk games, a private dance room, and audiovisual equipment. The site holds 600 guests under a 60-foot air-pressurized bubble. Large events can be combined with the downstairs bowling alley to hold as many as 1,100 guests. (110 University Place, 212.255.8188) EMPIRE ROOM

This 3,500-square-foot cocktail lounge from the company that operates the Campbell Apartment, the Carnegie Club, and World Bar was slated to open in December. On the ground floor of the Empire State Building, the Empire Room will sport Art Decostyle interiors and serve a selection of upscale cocktails. (350 Fifth Ave., Ground Floor, 212.980.9476)


Managed by Restaurant Associates, the facility has five rooms suitable for presentations and meetings, as well as seated dinners and social functions. The largest and most versatile is the 3,950-square-foot Columbus Room, which holds 287 theaterstyle. (60 Columbus Cir., 10th Floor, 212.484.6121)


In 2008 the School of Visual Arts acquired this 20,000-squarefoot facility known then as the Clearview Chelsea West Cinemas. Opened in September, the west Chelsea venue has two auditoriums, one seating 275 and the other seating 480. Artist Milton Glaser designed the decor and the exterior of the site, which includes a 120-foot revolving illuminated sculpture atop the marquee. (333 West 23rd St., 212.592.2980)



The European-style Surrey reopened in November following a $60 million renovation. Restored to its Beaux-Arts origins, the 190-room property houses a spa and chef Daniel Boulud’s Café Boulud and Bar Pleiades. Café Boulud offers two private dining rooms, which can be combined to seat 32 guests. (20 East 76th St., 212.288.3700) OPENING SOON TRUMP SOHO NEW YORK


The first American property from the U.K.’s Firmdale hotel group opened in October. The boutique hotel in SoHo has 86 rooms and suites spread across 11 floors, a restaurant, bar, and a garden on the ground floor. For meetings and events, the Crosby Street Hotel offers a 99-seat screening room, three private function rooms, and a large reception space. (79 Crosby St., 212.226.6400) DISTRIKT HOTEL

The Distrikt Hotel, a 32-story property in Midtown West, was slated to open in December. With interiors inspired by Manhattan neighborhoods and iconic city landmarks—a 12-foot living wall in the lobby is designed to represent Central Park—the 155-room venue will also offer a restaurant called Kollage and soundproof windows. (342 West 40th St., 877.424.6423) OPENING SOON MONDRIAN SOHO

Following in the footsteps of the Standard, another West Coast property set to make its first appearance in New York is the Mondrian. The Morgan Hotel Group plans to open a location in SoHo in spring 2010. The 270-room hotel will have an outdoor bar and a restaurant serving seafood from former Top Chef contestant Sam Talbot. (150 Lafayette St.) IN THE WORKS NOMAD HOTEL

Scheduled to open in 2011, the 165-room NoMad Hotel is designed to be one of the city’s first renovated hotels certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Situated inside a 12-story French Renaissance-style building, the property

98 january/february 2010

Taking over the site that once housed power lunch spot Lever House is Casa Lever. The eatery from the owners of Sant Ambroeus opened in mid-October, serving Italian fare in a room decorated with 19 original Andy Warhol paintings. Redesigned by architect William T. Georgis, Casa Lever offers 162 seats and private dining areas for groups. (390 Park Ave., 212.888.2700)

This joint venture between the Trump Organization, Bayrock Group, and the Sapir Organization is a 46-story, 391-room property. Development plans include a 190-seat Quattro Gastronomia Italiana restaurant, an 11,000-square-foot spa, and more than 12,000 square feet of meeting facilities. The hotel is scheduled to open in February 2010. (246 Spring St., 212.965.0008)




Starwood Hotels and Resorts will open this new property in February 2010. In the financial district, the downtown building will offer 217 guest rooms and 222 residential units. For events, the W New York Downtown will offer four separate rooms, three of which can be combined to hold as many as 120 seated theaterstyle or 144 for receptions. (123 Washington St., 212.385.1100)

In late October, the Richard Caring Group, which operates the Ivy restaurant in London, opened a New York outpost of Le Caprice inside the newly renovated Pierre hotel. Designed by Martin Brudnizki, this lobby-level eatery offers an 76-seat dining room and a 14-seat bar in a space decorated with David Bailey’s photographs of Jean Shrimpton. (795 Fifth Ave., 212.940.8195)

Celebrity photographer Patrick McMullan is a partner for this venue, a restaurant and bar inspired by 1940s film noir. Opened in November, the East Side Social Club serves traditional ItalianAmerican fare and fancy cocktails in the 113-seat space that was once occupied by Montparnasse. (230 East 51st St., 212.355.9442)



A collegiate landmark since 1923, the Faculty House underwent an 18-month restoration and reopened in September. The 38,000-square-foot redbrick and limestone building now offers four floors of event space. The Presidential Ballroom consists of three large rooms and a reception foyer that join to offer 3,475 square feet of space. (400 West 117th St., 212.854.7192)


Andaz, a new brand within the Hyatt Hotels group, was slated to open this 253-room property in January 2010. On site will be an as-yet-unnamed restaurant, a bar called 7even 5ive, and a fitness center. For meetings, there will be five rooms—the largest of which is 741 square feet and holds 30 banquet-style—as well as a lounge and communal dining area. (75 Wall St., 212.590.1234)



Once a textile factory, this studio and event space opened in November with a 3,000-square-foot sound stage. Located in Williamsburg, Factory Studios offers a soundproof facility at street level, which comes equipped with a 20- by 30-foot cyclorama, drive-in capabilities, two loading docks, and a lighting grid. (79 Lorimer St., Brooklyn, 718.690.3980) LOFT 676

This new event venue on the border of Greenwich Village and NoHo opened in mid-November. The recently renovated venue has 3,500 square feet of space and offers hardwood floors, exposed brick accents, 13-foot ceilings, and 11-foot-high windows. Also on-site is a kitchen. (676 Broadway, 646.596.8676)


This museum, devoted to the cultural heritage of Latin America and the Caribbean, launched its $20 million capital renovation project in fall 2006 and reopened in mid-October. The revamp included the installation of a new glass facade, a redesigned courtyard, updated gallery spaces, an expanded shop, and the addition of a café. (1230 Fifth Ave., 212.660.7132) IN THE WORKS MUSEUM OF THE MOVING IMAGE

This Astoria museum highlights film, television, and digital media. An expansion project began in 2007 and will include a new theater, a screening room, and galleries, as well as a garden for special events. Completion is scheduled for fall 2010. During construction, the main floor and Riklis Theater will be unavailable. (35th Ave. at 36th St., Queens, 718.784.4520)

In November, Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group opened this Italian restaurant inside Ian Schrager’s Gramercy Park Hotel. Maialino is styled after Roman trattorias, with warm colors, wooden floors, and wainscoting. In addition to offering windows that overlook the park, the eatery also has a 22-person private dining room. (2 Lexington Ave., 212.777.2410) OPENING SOON QUATTRO GASTRONOMIA ITALIANA

The Trump SoHo Hotel Condominium will be home to the first New York outpost of Quattro Gastronomia Italiana, a popular Italian restaurant in South Beach, Florida. Slated to open in February 2010, the 3,800-square-foot eatery, designed by Studio A Design, will offer 190 seats and a 1,200-square-foot mezzanine with two private dining rooms. (246 Spring St., 212.965.0008) SD 26

Owners Tony and Marisa May closed their Central Park South restaurant San Domenico in June 2008, and opened a new place at Madison Square Park. The 350-seat Italian restaurant, which more than doubles the space at the old venue, debuted this past September and includes a 100-seat private dining room and a 75-seat lounge. (19 East 26th St., 212.265.5959) OPENING SOON MA PÊCHE

Expected to open in early 2010 is David Chang’s restaurant inside the Chambers Hotel. To be located in the spot recently vacated by Geoffrey Zakarian’s Town, Ma Pêche will be designed by Thomas Schlesser and offer a menu overseen by chef Tien Ho. (15 West 56th St., 212.974.5656) RABBIT IN THE MOON

Billed as an English-style gastropub, this Greenwich Village eatery was inspired by and modeled after the Eagle, a pub in London. Set in a bilevel space near Washington Square Park, Rabbit in the Moon offers a lounge on one level and a main dining room on the other. A private room seats 40 and on the menu is English comfort foods like shepherds pie. (47 West 8th St.) TANUKI TAVERN

ON BIZBASH.COM Reports on New York’s newest event spaces

Replacing Ono inside the Hotel Gansevoort is this Japanese gastropub and sushi bar from Jeffrey Chodorow’s China Grill Management. Modeled after traditional izakaya—the Japanese version of a tapas bar—the bilevel space is decorated with paper lanterns and rustic wood accents. (18 Ninth Ave., 212.660.6766)


In July, Essex Public House opened in Hollywood. The main room features a wrought iron bar, high-topped tables and banquettes, black and white tile floors, and old schoolhouse light fixtures. The venue is available for buyout and holds 125 for events. (6683 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323.460.6608)



Eve on Nemo is a new multi-use venue that seats 70 or holds 100 for receptions. It has a full kitchen, 1,300 square feet of indoor space, and a patio with a stone fire pit—since L.A. winter often allows for an alfresco event. Chandeliers, bird cages, and a livesucculent-framed mirror round out the decor. (9045 Nemo St., West Hollywood, 310.278.8181)

Once the Montmarte Café in Hollywood, this giant Spanishinfluenced nightclub opened in August. The tapas restaurant portion of the space opened in September. Marbella offers a 4,000-square-foot patio with wrought-iron accents, meant to invoke both Spain and the ‘20s. Touches include curtained cabanas, greenery, brick ceilings, a dance floor illuminated with LEDs, and private booths. The entire space holds 900 and is available for buyouts. (6757 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323.465.0447)





Empire opened in September. Greek-style columns tower above, and brown and red tiered booths overlook the spacious dance floor. There are three bars, a ruby-jeweled chandelier, and an enclosed smoking patio plus a ventilated smoking room with moss-colored, floor-length drapes. The space measures 7,800 square feet and has a capacity of 600; if the adjacent lot is tented, it accommodates several hundred more. (1716 North Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood, 323.836.0854)

Wolfgang Puck Catering is exclusively catering new event areas at Sony Pictures Studios, unofficially called the “Dining Room” and “the Park.” The indoor space has a modern, open dining room done in warm woods and large windows; it opens to an extensive patio area and adjoins a park with a lawn and fountain. The dining room holds 300 for seated events, or 500 for a reception; with the patio, add 200 seated or 250 for receptions. The park area holds 500 for seated events or 2,000 for a reception. (10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, 310.244.8042)

For its 10-year anniversary, the Avalon Hotel added new Italian restaurant, Oliverio, which took over the former Blue on Blue space in October. Decor includes gilt ceramic columns, floor-toceiling windows that showcase Oliverio’s poolside dining area, Cippolino tables, and 1960s Warren Platner gold metal chairs. Poolside cabanas offer private dining. Oliverio’s total capacity is 143. (9400 West Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310.407.7791)


Haute Los Angeles is a new nightclub and lounge venue in West Hollywood. Couture fashion and style have influenced the decor and feel of the space, which caters to special events. It is the first Los Angeles venture from international hotelier Bert Hurstfield. (665 North Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood, 310.855.9232) MI-6

SBE’s new nightclub, Mi-6, opened in September in the former Foxtail space. Mi-6 has a modern design with lighting along the walls in striped arrangements. The West Hollywood space has booth seating, dual dance floors, and a layout on three levels. The space has a total capacity of about 400, with V.I.P. areas, multiple full-service bars, and smoking patios. Speciality cocktails use high-end and organic ingredients. (9077 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, 310.859.8369) VOYEUR

Open since October, Voyeur is a 6,000-squarefoot West Hollywood lounge with a capacity of 650. It has a designated DJ space, a 138-inch pull-down screen, a large stage for performances, video capabilities, and Wi-Fi. There are also two full-service bars, a full-service kitchen, and an outdoor smoking area. Voyeur has a private room with its own entrance and bar; it holds 50 for receptions or 40 for seated events. (7969 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, 310.255.1111) WONDERLAND

The Dolce Group opened its 4,200-squarefoot nightspot Wonderland in Hollywood in September. The space has an Alice in Wonderland theme, with design by Tony Schubert from Event Eleven (who also designed Dolce’s Les Deux and Ketchup). (1835 North Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood, 323.957.1599)


Venice Beach’s new Hotel Erwin, a Joie de Vivre property, is a 119-room property overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Its restaurant, Hash, uses seasonal, local, fresh ingredients, with chef Micah Fields delivering his take on home-style cooking. Seasonal specialties include hashes, buckwheat pancakes, and benedicts. The petite eatery holds 20 indoors and 34 outdoors. On the Erwin’s rooftop is High, a long, narrow lounge that offers handcrafted cocktails and holds 98. (1697 Pacific Ave., Los Angeles, 310.452.1111)


Agura West Hollywood opened in a former church in November with room for 150 for seated events. A giant custom-made gold Buddha nods to the religious history of the space. It also includes luxe furnishings and offers private dining rooms, with booth seating for 20 and patio seating for 45. (514 North La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310.289.1940) BOUCHON BEVERLY HILLS

Thomas Keller’s newest Bouchon opened in Beverly Hills in November. It’s the third Bouchon restaurant serving Keller’s classic French country fare. Bar Bouchon, a wine bar also serving small plates, opened in mid-December. (235 North Cañon Drive, Beverly Hills, 310.271.9910) EAST

Where to... Enjoy Global Cuisine Chef Susan Feniger opened a restaurant devoted to street food from around the world, aptly named Street (742 North Highland Ave., Los Angeles, 323.461.7813). The menu is a flavorful blend inspired by market and street-stand cuisines. Architect Neil Denari designed the interior and with artists Huntley & Muir, who have a history of collaboration with Feniger, created largescale murals that give Street dramatic backdrops. To research the menu, Fenigan traveled to Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Menu items include Indian vada dumplings, Japanese shizo shrimp, and Hawaiian alanui poke. The space seats 100 and is available for buyout. There is a small upper mezzanine with room for an additional dozen.


In July, Joie de Vivre unveiled Hotel Maya in Long Beach, next to the Queen Mary. An 11acre waterfront property that underwent a $20 million renovation, Hotel Maya has 197 guest rooms, as well as dining and entertainment options. (700 Queensway Drive, Long Beach, 562.435.7676) MIYAKO HYBRID HOTEL



In October, David Judaken’s Syndicate Hospitality Group—which has specialized in nightlife and entertainment like MyHouse and Opera and Crimson—opened its first restaurant, East, inspired by Asian cuisines. Chef Keven Alan Lee heads the kitchen, and Dodd Mitchell designed the space. (6611 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323.462.3278) EVA RESTAURANT

Eva Restaurant opened in September, offering a seasonally changing menu in an intimate dining room. A globally inspired menu includes linguini and clams, plus classic French dishes such as foie gras and onion soup. The restaurant’s cream-colored dining room seats 47. A small bar within the restaurant has seating for seven, and private parties can be held on the garden patio, which holds 25. (7458 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, 323.634.0700) HAKOBE

Owner Asako Lisa Batten opened Japanese restaurant Hakobe in July. The eatery serves entrees such as almond shrimp with sea salt and lemon alongside specialty cocktails like the “Asako Special” (vodka, lychee sake, berry juice, banana juice, lemon, and muddled blueberries). Hakobe has a spacious area adjacent to the main dining room that can be sectioned off for private events. There is also patio seating out front. (14 North La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310.652.0007) THE HIDEOUT

The Hollywood Heights Hotel has opened its new bar and restaurant, the Hideout. With a total capacity of about 100, the venue is divided into a bar and lounge area at the front and, in the back, a dining room that can be sectioned off for private events. Events can also take over the adjacent patio area. The entire venue is available for buyout. The Hideout serves updated comfort food. (2005 North Highland Ave., Hollywood, 323.876.8600)

Opened in December, the Miyako Hybrid Hotel in Torrance is about 15 minutes from LAX. The seven-story hotel has 208 rooms, 12 suites (six hospitality and six luxury), and five meeting spaces with a total of 4,628 square feet of meeting space. Amenities include 46-inch LCD televisions, complimentary wired and wireless Internet throughout, and Japanese-style oversize baths and separate showers. (1381 South Western Ave., Torrance, 310.212.5111)

This 20,000-square-foot spot offers gastropub fare from associate executive chef Thomas Moran in a setting reminiscent of a science lab, with slate-topped tables, beakers as vases, and bookshelves that house science textbooks. The Lab also has a private dining room wired for full audiovisual capabilities. It holds 18 guests for a seated event or 30 for a reception. (3500 South Figueroa St., Los Angeles, 213.743.1843)



Scheduled to open in January, the W Hollywood at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street will have 10,000 square feet of meeting space and 25,000 square feet of overall event space. For downtime there is a pool with daybeds, cabanas, and a bar, and Drai’s Hollywood nightclub. (6250 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323.798.1300)

Jean Francois Meteigner’s La Cachette Bistro in Santa Monica opened in August. The dining area has room for 60 for seated events, a private room accommodates 18, and a 1,000-squarefoot bar area seats 40. The private, glassed-in patio has room for 80 for seated events. (1733 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, 310.434.9509)



Philippe opened in West Hollywood in the former Dolce space at the end of September. The eatery includes multiple areas that hold from about 14 to about 300. Philippe is the eponymous restaurant of chef/owner Philippe Chow, who headed Mr. Chow for 27 years before opening his own New York flagship with partner Stratis Morfogen. (8284 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, 310.951.1100) SOI 56

Thai street food is the concept at Soi 56, the fifth restaurant by Boon and Supa Kuntee. Chris Rusay at Rusay Design created the look of the space, with a mix of materials like laser-cut acrylic and recycled lumber from 1800s-era barns and homes. Soi 56 has room for 100 and has a semiprivate area for events and groups. The venue is available for full buyout. (1556 North Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood, 323.962.5656) TAVERN

Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne, the partners behind Lucques and A.O.C., opened this Brentwood Village restaurant in May. Staying true to its name, the restaurant has a British gastropub vibe, with modern touches. The 100-seat main dining room is a glass-roofed atrium with natural light, wood floors, long tufted sofas, gray upholstered chairs, and zinc-topped tables. An additional room holds 36, and the entire space holds as many as 200. (11648 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles, 310.806.6459) VINOLIO

In September, Vinolio made its debut in Cahuenga corridor. Chef Andy Pastore designed the menu, which consists mainly Italian items such as specialty pizzas and sliced meats. Exposed brick walls, rustic wooden tables, and antique embellishments give the eatery an Old World feel. The space is available for buyouts, and holds as many as 200 people. A private dining area is available on the back patio, which holds 50 for seated events. (1634 North Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood, 323.856.0888) WESTSIDE TAVERN

This eatery’s divisible private space has a large walnut bar, cork walls, and a wall covered in lateral slices of tree trunks—for an appropriately wintry look—and the rooms connect to hold as many as 100 people for a seated event. Westside Tavern offers American comfort food made from California ingredients. (10850 West Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, 310.474.5902)


The 14-screen Regal Cinemas at L.A. Live officially opened in October. The 140,000-square-foot theater complex is the new West Coast flagship of Regal Cinemas, and its opening marks the near completion of the L.A. Live development. There are 3,795 seats in all, ranging from 100 to 290 per auditorium. The venue hosts events in the 818-seat “premier house” with a private entrance, box office, concession area, and lobby. It has a grand spiral staircase leading to the theater’s balcony level. (800 West Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, 800.792.8244)


Chateaux opened in mid-December in the former I Lounge space in Irvine. Decor includes white couches and chairs, chocolate brown walls and tables with bronze accents, seven chandeliers, and six fireplaces for a holiday feel. The whole venue holds more than 800, and has seven different areas within to reserve for private events. (18912 MacArthur Blvd., Irvine)


The An family, owners of the Beverly Hills restaurant Crustacean, opened a new space known as AnQi at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa in December. The gourmet bistro and noodle bar holds 282 for seated events or 500 for receptions. The dining area measures 8,500 square feet. AnQi also has two private dining rooms. One includes a private bar and has room for 38 for seated events. The other room, known as the chef’s table, seats 21. (3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, 714.557.5679) january/february 2010 99

Special Advertising Section

Rental Company Directory AFR Event Furnishings

Bridge Furniture & Props

AFR Event Furnishings is thrilled to introduce a new, captivating custom line of event furnishings. AFR provides exceptional rental solutions for special events, corporate meetings, and trade shows nationwide. They guarantee quality, style, and competitive pricing, and complement their products with outstanding customer service.

Bridge Furniture & Props is a boutique style prop and furniture rental company that supplies stylish lounge environments to the private and corporate event community. Their entire inventory is pictured and indexed for browsing online.

116 West 23rd St., 5th Floor, Suite 65, New York, NY 10011 T: 212.869.2161 Service Area: Nationwide

126 Lombardy Street, 2nd Floor, Brooklyn NY 11222 T: 718.916.9706 Service Area: New York Tristate Area

Business Equipment Rentals

CORT Event Furnishings CORT Event Furnishings is a nationwide provider of furnishings for the meeting and events industry. Our twelve strategically located distribution centers guarantee style and service delivered anywhere you want in the U.S.

Business Equipment Rentals is a full-service office equipment rental company specializing in meetings, conferences, conventions, special events and legal/litigation support services. For over 17 years, all we do are rentals–copiers, computers, fax machines, printers and shredders–24 hours a day, every day of the year! Of course, service and support are available, at no additional charge, 24 hours a day, every day of the year! 250 West 49th St, New York, NY 10019 T: 212-582-2020 (24 hrs.) F: 212-582-0751

3455 West Sunset Road, Suite A Las Vegas, NV 89118 T: 888.CORT.YES F: 702.362.2729 Service Area: Nationwide

Drape Kings

Fete Accompli Event Rentals, LLC.

Drape Kings, America’s leader in theatrical-quality event rental drapes, specializes in the rental and installation of pipe and drape systems, a perfect solution for transforming any ordinary room into a plush environment. They offer a complete turnkey solution, providing everything needed to drape, and the technical services to support and complete every job on time, every time.

Fete Accompli Events is a fresh and innovative boutique style rental company offering an exclusive line of luxury event furnishings and decor that go beyond standard rental items. Our collection includes the finest seating, tables, bars, lighting and accessories encompassing a wide and varied style. Fabulous Rentals can make your event a sensational “Fete Accompli”.

3200 Liberty Ave., Unit 2C, North Bergen, NJ 07047 T: 201.770.9950 F: 201.770.9956 Service Area: New York Tristate Area

2010 West 62nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90047 T: 323.758.5344 F: 866.787.1097 Service Area: Nationwide

To advertise in BizBash advertorial directories, please contact Robert Fitzgerald at 646.839.6840 or

Special Advertising Section

FW Rentals

Global Elite Group

FW Rentals is a premiere Boutique Furniture & Decor Rentals Company. They stay ahead of the trends and deliver highly creative and unique high-end furniture and decor pieces for your special occasion across the country and internationally. Customization is available upon request.

Our specialized security services division, Global Security Associates, can secure Fashion & Art Shows, Concerts & Entertainment Events, Corporate & Private Events, School & University Events, VIP & Concierge Services, Private Aviation Meet & Greets, Secure Luxury Transportation, Movie Premieres, and Not for Profit Functions.

3200 Liberty Ave., Unit 2C, North Bergen, NJ 07047 T: 201.770.9950 F: 201.770.9956 Service Area: New York Tristate Area

T: 877.425.0999 / 516.414.0487 F: 516-414-0488 Service Area: Coast to Coast—Greater New York City and Southern California

Izanagi Lounge Furniture Design

kool. Party Rentals

Izanagi Lounge Furniture designs is a unique lounge furniture design group that provides your event with illuminated furniture pieces that will have your guests talking. By integrating colorchanging LED lights into the furniture pieces, we give you complete control on setting the mood or theme of any event. Give your event that upscale look without breaking the bank.

kool. Party Rentals is a boutique event rental company specializing in the latest in lighted acrylic tables, bars and décor. kool. Party Rentals also has an extensive line of contemporary leather lounge furniture in many styles and colors. Our design-forward inventory, coupled with our vision and innovation, will help you transform any environment into the kool-est ultra-lounge or club.

1636 South Clementine Street, Anaheim, CA 92802 T: 714.401.5265 F: 714.502.0628 Service Area: L.A./Orange County

T: 888.525.KOOL (5665) Service Area: Nationwide

Lounge Appeal Rentals

NYC Photobooth

Lounge Appeal is a lounge furniture rental company ready to take your event to the next level. We rent high quality lounge furniture for all types of special events. A comfortable seating environment is a great addition to any event. Our team of dedicated specialists will help turn your next function into an extraordinary party to remember. Now renting GLOW seating, tables, and bars.

Pimp my Photobooth! Fully branded photobooths for every event. NYC Photobooth specializes in providing multiple booths for marketing promotions of every kind. Green-Screen booths now available for your choice of multiple backgrounds. Save the photos in highresolution digital form and upload or project on the big screen. Extremely fast technology provide photos from start to finish in less than a minute.

16860 S. Main St. Gardena, CA. 90248 T: 888.229.9990 F: 310.515.6777 Service Area: Greater LA, Southern Cali, Northern Cali, Las Vegas, Arizona.

3205 Lawson Blvd., Oceanside, NY 11572 T: 800.531.3727 Service Area: Nationwide

To advertise in BizBash advertorial directories, please contact Robert Fitzgerald at 646.839.6840 or

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Rental Company Directory Pacific Coast Entertainment Pacific Coast Entertainment is the affordable production solution. The company aspires to the highest standards in audio, lighting, video, and staging. PCE specializes in full event production, rentals, and sales. Thanks to a fast-paced, quality-focused work ethic, years of experience, and cutting-edge technology, PCE can make any event possible. 18265 Gothard Street, Huntington Beach CA 92648 T: 714.841.6455 F: 714.847.4271 Service Area: Southern California/ Nationwide

Party Rental Ltd.

Party Line Tent Rentals

Party Line: Where the pros go for everything rentals. Events, productions, premieres.

21 Vreeland Ave Elmsford, NY 10523 T: 914.592.1200 F: 914.592.7477 Service Area: NYC Tristate and Beyond

PBG Event Productions & Rentals

Setting trends and standards in the rental industry for over 35 years, Party Rental Ltd. is known for outstanding service and an extensive, continually evolving selection. Spanning the mid-Atlantic region with four warehouse facilities and twelve showrooms, we pride ourselves on the ability to deliver anywhere in the region.

PBG Event Productions & Rentals is a multi award-winning lighting design and production company that offers trend setting designs in illuminated furniture, illuminated décor, illuminated linens and event lighting. Contact us for our new 2010 Event Rental & Design Catalog for design inspiration.

275 North Street, Teterboro, NJ 07608 T: 201.727.4700 F: 201.727.4701 Service Area: Mid-Atlantic Region

6 Tulip Ave, Floral PK, NY 11001 T: 516.358.0800 F: 516.358.0801 Service Area: Nationwide


Signature Event Rentals, LLC.

Photosphere360 is a new concept combining event entertainment with branding and social media. Photosphere360 snaps branded 360-degree photos in a floor-to-ceiling green-screen enclosure. Photos are printed instantly and turned into interactive movies allowing users to click and drag to see all the action! The interactive movies can be linked to Facebook, Myspace, and emailed so guests to do viral marketing for you. 4341 Russell Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027 T: 310.997.0019 Service Area: Southern California, nationwide

Signature Event Rentals offers an exclusive line of luxury lounge rentals and decor that go beyond standard rental items. Their exclusive collection includes the finest seating, tables, bars, lighting, and accessories—everything you need to create a sophisticated, modern, and sexy aesthetic. 5110 12th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11219 T: 718.629.6909 F: 866.787.1097 Service Area: Nationwide

To advertise in BizBash advertorial directories, please contact Robert Fitzgerald at 646.839.6840 or

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Something Different Party Rental

Solotech’s mission is to leverage technology to its maximum to elevate each project to the highest level through sound, lighting, and video. Solotech provides the tools to ensure their clients’ dreams become reality. Solotech provides technical expertise for corporate events, international music tours, multimedia installations, audiovisual rentals, television productions, and more.

Something Different Party Rental is an event rental company that offers a total atmosphere solution. By providing high-style furniture with a full range of traditional rental offerings, our customers can source everything they need to complete their vision for their next event.

7465 Dean Martin Drive Ste 108, Las Vegas, NV 89139 T: 702.614.8882 Service Area: Nationwide

107-117 Pennsylvania Ave., Paterson, NJ 07503 T: 973.742.1779

Stamford Tent & Event Services Stamford Tent & Event Services has provided thousands of satisfied customers with the ultimate setting for their special occasion. For 57 years we have been known for our ability to install awe-inspiring tent structures for corporate galas, elegant weddings and intimate gatherings at your home or special venue.

84 Lenox Ave., Stamford, CT 06906 T: 203.324.6222 F: 203.316.5116 Service Area: National

Town and Country Event Rentals “L.A.’s fresh new alternative.” The latest designs in event furnishings, stylish furniture, gorgeous table top and linen selections; superb service.

7700 Airport Business Park Way, Van Nuys, CA 91406 T: 818.908.4211 F: 818.908.4219 Service Area: Southern California/ Greater Los Angeles


Room Service —Furniture & Event Rentals

RentQuest is a specialized New York-based rental service company offering a wide range of custom-designed furniture, lighting, and accessories in one place. Their rental inventory includes stylish banquettes and ottomans upholstered in glove vinyl, microsuede, and velvets; unique cocktail tables; illuminated bars and display units; designer pillows; and dramatic decor accessories, as well as their eco-friendly furniture line.

Room Service is a furniture and event rental provider specializing in high-end furnishings for events of every size, style, and location. They offer an unparalleled range of fine furniture and upscale accessories. They pride themselves on providing world-class customer service and flawless furnishings for every event.

568 Broadway Suite 507, New York, NY 10012 T: 212.243.4291 F: 212.966.3295 Service Area: Northeast, nationwide

7455 NE 2nd Avenue Miami, FL 33138 T: 877.577.ROOM Service Area: Florida, Southeast, DC, Northeast

To advertise in BizBash advertorial directories, please contact Robert Fitzgerald at 646.839.6840 or

Ted Kruckel ers during the event why the Salahis A qualified greeter can tell you the weren’t on the list, and no answer was first name of another attendee’s wife. provided and no action was taken, I You don’t ask a Secret Service person rewound the DVR to make sure I’d heard that. Sometimes you arrive knowing her correctly. you’re seated at someone’s table, you The cluelessness of this excuse recognize their name, but you really was followed by the mind-numbing don’t know who the hell they are. You week that it took for the White House need a lady or gent with a clipboard, not to announce that, gee, in the future, somebody with a curly wire in his ear. maybe it would be a good idea if they It goes beyond that. I’ve been at had someone who knows the list there, events with presidents and heads of you know, helping the Secret Service state, and there are other basic points check people in. They’ll be sure to send of protocol that I’d want to brush up someone on down next time. on if I were attending a White House The truth is that checking names off dinner. There are rules about when you One of the most legendary society party built in 1954 by Morris Lapidus, has a the list is only one element of properly can dance, when you can sit down, how throwers of all time, George Trescher, giant, curving staircase that snakes the greeting a guest. In my mind, every you address the visiting dignitaries, and had a three-step formula for throwing grand lobby’s atrium. Known as the a good party: 1) Get them in, 2) get their “stairway to nowhere,” it leads to a coat important event should have someone when you can take your jacket off—at least there used to be. Even if the new coats, 3) get them a drink. It sounds check area and powder room. But it was at the front of the house who knows nearly every name on the list, and administration is determined to throw simple, but so often it doesn’t happen designed to give ladies a long, glamormore importantly, conveys to all guests out the old etiquette rules, to be truly that way. ous arrival, and they loved it. that they are expected and welcome. respectful, you need to communicate The biggest obstacle to an eased The nadir of the entry is of course Someone should say “Good-bye” and such to the old guard so that they don’t entry these days is the red-carpet scene. last year’s White House state dinner for “Thank you for coming,” as well. And feel out of place. In the same way that celebrity has India’s prime minister. Maureen Dowd there are other basic responsibilities I Colin Cowie, a truly gracious replaced content in our popular culture, called it Michaele and Tareq Salahi’s feel the need to point out, just in case a host—I used to overstay my welcome the red-carpet routine has upended the “night of living dangerously,” and of reader of this column knows one person at his home all the time, simply having event world by placing all the emphasis course they are exciting new stars in who works in the White House to too much fun—once told me, “Real on broadloom and step-and-repeats. the firmament of infamy. But the real whom they can forward this to before etiquette is about making other people And of course the creepy celebrities are shock and disgrace of the night was they embarrass our country again. feel comfortable. All the rules are just taking us for all we’re worth. Now we the attempt by the White House social Proper event greeters should opersecondary.” sometimes have a separate entry for office and its testimony-ducking leader, ate like a hotel concierge—an oasis of Now I’m sure that the White House red carpet, which deprives guests of the Desirée Rogers, to shirk the whole information and support for guests social office had people elsewhere at fun flashing lights (when it’s so easy to process of greeting, as important a coming and going. Some couples their dinner to assist guests with these make a two-lane system). Publicists carry responsibility as that is. arrive in separate cars, frantic to know eventualities, but the fact remains their clients’ belongings like pack mules. That Rogers doesn’t know a thing that the best and most logical place to And now we’ve got the new exit ramps, about throwing an event became crystal if their spouses have already arrived. Sometimes a person isn’t feeling well anchor these services is when guests where famous faces leave the red carpet clear when her office made a quick and wants to make a discreet exit, but are first greeted. and are either led to a private V.I.P. room, announcement that the responsibilwants to leave an explanatory message Frankly, I won’t be surprised if or for the really cynical, to a back door ity for Crashergate lay in the arms of so the hosts will understand. The many readers find this condescendwhere they just get in the car, skipping the Secret Service. Her proof? No one random phone always gets ing, and for them I the event altogether. from her staff was even there—how found, and an event checkMaking an entrance used to could it be their fault? Then, when The ON BIZBASH.COM beg forgiveness. This was written with rank be much more important. The Washington Post’s Roxanne Roberts said in table is the first place Ted’s latest event any guest goes to check. amateurs in mind. Fontainebleau hotel in Miami Beach, she had asked two White House staffdispatches

Any good host knows that a proper greeting goes way beyond checking names on a list.

Where Ted’s Been At Taste, hosted by New York magazine, this display of paper plates with projections by the Rockwell Group’s Innovation Lab was driven by a custom computer program. David Rockwell promised the plates would be recycled—they’d “eat lunch” off of them.

104 january/february 2010

I almost learned how to ballotine a chicken at New York magazine’s Culinary Experience. Jacques Pépin made it look so easy.

The Moth Ball saluted storytellers with a masked fete at Capitale. Some guests complied with costumes, others with makeup.

Fete d’Hiver, a fundraiser for the Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, held at the Four Seasons Restaurant and sponsored by Chanel, kicked off the holiday season smartly, I thought.


Making an Entrance

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NY & LA Jan/Feb 2010  
NY & LA Jan/Feb 2010  

Events coverage in New York and Los Angeles.