EVENTS MEETINGS MARKETING STYLE STRATEGY IDEAS
The Venue Report Our Annual Look at New Locations 768 Places for Meetings & Events
PLUS: Outdoor Rentals Gifts That Give Back Attention-Getting Invites Summer Entertaining Tips Corporate Holiday Party Ideas
Chicago $4.95 SUMMER 2010 BIZBASH.COM
How Social Media Experts Do Face-to-Face Events
READER SURVEY How Your Job Is Changing
GORGEOUS FLOWERS CUSTOM RENTAL FURNITURE & ACCENT DECOR
Photography by Phil Farber / Photo Images Inc. www.PhilFarber.com
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CHICAGO Volume 3, Issue 2 Summer 2010 © 2010 BizBash Media
PHOTOS: ERIC CRAIG FOR BIZBASH
Schawk Retail Marketing handles online, ofﬂine, and in-store marketing efforts for major retailers and brands, and on April 29, the company hosted an open house to showcase its capabilities in its 60,000-squarefoot West Loop photo studio. Some 300 guests attended the cocktail reception, which included photo shoots with Ford models, a cooking demo from Top Chef ﬁnalist Richard Blais, and vignettes that mimicked the sets used in Schwak’s advertising shoots. More photos and details are on BizBash.com.
On the Cover For its annual ArtEdge beneﬁt, the Museum of Contemporary Art created an all-white dinner space ﬁlled with candles and hanging manzanita branches. Photographed by Eric Craig for BizBash
FROM THE EDITORS Quick notes for short attention spans
READERS’ FORUM What are your must-haves for outdoor events?
THE SCOUT 13 Colored tape installations 14 Attention-grabbing invitations 15 How do you attract younger guests? 16 Meatless entrées Outdoor-friendly rentals 18 Caterer Elaina Vazquez 20 Corporate gifts with charitable tie-ins 22 An online marketing leader’s ambitious ofﬂine event 24 Stylish ways to communicate an organization’s purpose EVENT REPORTS 29 Diffa’s futuristic AIDS fund-raiser 31 The ﬁrst-ever Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo 32 From New York: O, The Oprah Magazine’s 10th anniversary 34 From Boston: The Institute of Contemporary Art’s spring beneﬁt 35 The Museum of Contemporary Art’s ArtEdge beneﬁt 36 Hermes’ Chicago ﬂagship’s Parisian opening party 37 From Las Vegas: Conde Nast Traveler’s Hot List party moves cross country 38 The CS Brides Showcase 40 From Washington: The White House Correspondents’ Association dinner’s A-list after-parties 41 Nike’s temporary speakeasy
Holiday Parties Ideas for end-of-the-year gatherings directly from the people who plan them
49 The New Reality Planners’ biggest challenges, according to our reader survey 53 The Chicago Venue Report A roundup of Chicago’s newest spots for events, meetings, and entertaining THE DIRECTORY 60 Chicago venues TED KRUCKEL 80 Tips for beating the heat at summer events
ON BIZBASH.COM Comprehensive local venue and supplier directories The latest industry news Local sites for Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami/South Florida, New York, Orlando, Toronto, and Washington
bizbash.com summer 2010 3
BIZBASH EDITOR IN CHIEF Chad Kaydo NEWS EDITOR Courtney Thompson STYLE EDITOR Lisa Cericola ASSOCIATE EDITORS Michael O’Connell, Anna Sekula
CHICAGO EDITOR/BUREAU CHIEF Jenny Berg
LOS ANGELES EDITOR/BUREAU CHIEF Alesandra Dubin
MIAMI EDITOR/BUREAU CHIEF D. Channing Muller
TORONTO EDITOR/BUREAU CHIEF Susan O’Neill
WASHINGTON EDITOR/BUREAU CHIEF T.J. Walter
ART ART DIRECTOR Joey Bouchard ASSISTANT ART/PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Carolyn Curtis
PHOTO PHOTO EDITOR Alison Whittington ASSISTANT PHOTO EDITOR Jessica Torossian
COPY & RESEARCH ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR Claire Hoffman EDITORIAL INTERN Jennifer Ross
CONTRIBUTORS EDITOR AT LARGE Ted Kruckel WRITER AT LARGE, LOS ANGELES Irene Lacher CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Mimi O’Connor, Brendan Spiegel CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Meryl Rothstein, Andi Teran LOS ANGELES: Shilpa Gopinath, Rosalba Curiel TORONTO: Amy Lazar, Erin Letson WASHINGTON: Adele Chapin, Walter Nicholls COPY EDITOR Libby Estell, Josh Wimmer CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Vincent Dillio, Roger Dong, Nick Ferrari, Emily Gilbert, Dan Hallman, John Minchillo, Alice and Chris Ross, Keith Sirchio BOSTON: Aviran Levy, Patrick Piasecki CHICAGO: Mireya Acierto, Tyllie Barbosa, Barry Brecheisen, Eric Craig, Jeremy Lawson, Eddie Quinones LOS ANGELES: Matt Armendariz, BEImages, Jessica Boone, Nadine Froger, Line 8 Photography, Zen Sekizawa, Dale Wilcox MIAMI: Joseph Cancellare & Associates, Matthew Horton, Moris Moreno, Elizabeth Renfrow, Mitchell Zachs TORONTO: Gary Beechey, Jill Kitchener, Henry Lin, Emma McIntyre, Nicki Leigh McKean, George Pimentel WASHINGTON: Tony Brown/Imijination Photo, Stephen Elliot, FotoBriceno, Powers and Crewe EDITORIAL OFFICES 21 West 38th St., 13th Floor, New York, NY 10018 phone: 646.638.3600, fax: 646.638.3601 CHICAGO BUREAU 312.436.2525 LOS ANGELES BUREAU 310.659.9510
ASTONISHING CREATIVITY. FOR YOUR MOMENTOUS OCCASION. Discover the perfect balance of beauty and imagination at Renaissance® Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel. Evocative architecture. Inspired design. Whimsical touches. All in an elegant setting where exquisite catering and ﬂawless planning blend seamlessly to create the wedding of your dreams. For reservations or more information, phone 847.303.4100 or visit renaissanceschaumburg.com.
RENAISSANCE SCHAUMBURG CONVENTION CENTER HOTEL 1551 North Thoreau Schaumburg IL 60173 t: 847.303.4100 renaissanceschaumburg.com
MIAMI BUREAU 1450 NE 123 St., North Miami, FL 33161 305.808.3535 TORONTO BUREAU 1 Thorncliff Park Drive, Suite 110, Toronto, ON M4H 1G9 416.425.6380 CONTACT US Editorial Feedback and Ideas: email@example.com Event Invitations, Press Releases: firstname.lastname@example.org Directory Listings: email@example.com Subscription Inquiries: 646.839.6835, firstname.lastname@example.org New Subscriptions: bizbash.com/subscribe Subscription Renewals: bizbash.com/renew Reprints: Dani Rose, The YGS Group 800.494.9051 ext. 125, email@example.com BIZBASH MEDIA C.E.O. AND FOUNDER David Adler PRESIDENT Richard Aaron BOARD OF DIRECTORS Jonathan Adler (CHAIRMAN),
Richard Aaron, David Adler, Beverly Chell, Martin Maleska, Todd Pietri
BIZBASH SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF SALES AND MARKETING Robert Fitzgerald CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER David Micciulla
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OPERATIONS VICE PRESIDENT, CONTROLLER David Levine STAFF ACCOUNTANT Shahla Nas SENIOR DEVELOPER Wei Zheng
BIZBASH NEW YORK 21 West 38th St., 13th Floor, New York, NY 10018 646.638.3600, fax: 646.638.3601 PUBLISHER Jacqueline Gould ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Lauren Stonecipher ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER, NATIONAL VENUE GUIDE/ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER, BIZBASH BOSTON Andrew Carlin ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Erica Fand ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Kristie Hudson SALES ASSISTANT Robert Connell
BIZBASH BOSTON 617.340.3914 BIZBASH CHICAGO 312.436.2525 PUBLISHER Susan Babin ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Julia Kearney BIZBASH FLORIDA 1450 NE 123rd St., North Miami, FL 33161 305.893.8771 PUBLISHER Ann Keusch BIZBASH LAS VEGAS 702.425.8513 ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Jessica Slama BIZBASH LOS ANGELES 310.659.9510 PRESIDENT Elisabeth Familian PUBLISHER Hoﬁte Huddleston SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Mandana Valiyee BIZBASH TORONTO 1 Thorncliff Park Drive, Suite 110, Toronto, ON M4H 1G9 416.425.6380 ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Stephen Sinanan ONLINE SALES SPECIALIST Eileen Gualtieri BIZBASH WASHINGTON 202.684.8743 PUBLISHER Shelley Golinsky CHICAGO ADVISORY BOARD Marty Balogh, DIRECTOR OF MEETINGS AND TRAVEL, AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION; Deborah Borsum, PRESIDENT, THE MEETINGHOUSE COMPANIES; Tina Carlson, PRESIDENT, IVAN CARLSON; Beth Costello, OWNER, THE PERFECT PARTY; Maureen Dunphy, DIRECTOR OF GLOBAL EVENTS, MOTOROLA; Katie Ellis, DIRECTOR OF MARKETING, EVENT ARCHITECTS; Sally Favia, DIRECTOR OF SALES, APPLE VACATIONS; Sarah Finlayson, SALES MANAGER, CORPORATE AND SPECIAL EVENTS, MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY; Ann Hickey, DIRECTOR OF PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT, MAYOR’S OFFICE OF SPECIAL EVENTS; Susan Katz, DIRECTOR OF CORPORATE EVENTS, TRUE VALUE; Daniel Laubacher, EVALUATION PROGRAM MANAGER, NORTHEASTERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY; Robert Neubert, DIRECTOR OF CATERING SALES, HILTON CHICAGO; Kristy Polzup, EVENTS & COMMUNICATION MANAGER, DIAMOND; Jack Scaﬁde, ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE, CORT EVENT FURNISHINGS; Andrew Schorr, PRESIDENT, IN THE LOOP; Jean Sheerin, DIRECTOR OF SPECIAL EVENTS, ILLINOIS RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION; Gail Steffen, OWNER, PERALTA GARCIA SOLUTIONS; Jodi Wolf, PRESIDENT, PAULETTE WOLF EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Marketing and Advertising Programs: firstname.lastname@example.org ®2010 BIZBASH IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF BIZBASH MEDIA INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION WHOLE OR IN PART WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED.
From the Editors
Not-So-Deep Thinking No time for a long column? How about a few short thoughts?
Our L.A. keynote speaker Mindy Weiss A Confession I’m no expert on the ﬁner ﬁnancial points of the airline or hospitality industries, and surely executives or PR people from either could explain their various policies. My point is how these experiences make customers feel, which affects buying decisions. Advertising a cheap rate and then piling on additional costs might increase short-term revenue, but it’s not a good long-term branding strategy. More to the Event Industry Point You can have whatever excuses you want for a less-thanstellar guest experience, but the fact is guests don’t care. They remember what they remember, which might be the six-foot ﬂoral arrangements, or it might be the 20-minute valet wait. You can’t control what they talk about the next day, but you can inﬂuence what they experience. D.C. Status Update Most of the folks I encountered while covering the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner weekend in Washington were focused squarely on the guest lists of the various parties. They looked past the food to the famous faces, which I’ll grant in many cases was the more interesting choice. But some hosts still put out stylish spreads that would stand out in any market. Some highlights are on page 40. Weiss Is Nice Our L.A. keynote speaker, Mindy Weiss, started with photos from her own family gatherings—and self-deprecating asides about her former hairstyles. Moving on to the celebrity nuptials she’s known for, she gave a candid, funny presentation full of sound bites (as Colin Cowie did in Florida in April). “Great entertainment, great bar, great party.” “Every designer is focusing on lighting ﬁxtures.” (She predicts we’ll see more residential ﬁxtures at parties.) “Always end, if it’s in the budget, with ﬁreworks.” Ka-boom. —Chad Kaydo
Last week I came across three interesting takes on how electronic media is affecting how we think and behave. First The New York Times ran a long front-page piece about the impact of our devotion to information-loaded screens (computers, smartphones, iPads, etc.) and toggling between their apps, emails, videos, texts, games, and RSS feeds. In a nutshell: Our multitasking is actually making it harder for us to move between tasks effectively. Next, on a ﬂight from New York to our annual expo in Los Angeles, in Bloomberg BusinessWeek I read a review of The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, a new book by Nicholas Carr. He says all those Facebook status updates and animated banner ads are zapping our ability to recall information and comprehend what we read. Lastly, while stopping for a drink at the Bazaar, the José Andrés restaurant inside the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, I skimmed an op-ed piece by Harvard psychology professor Steven Pinker—using a Times app on my iPhone. He suggests everyone chill out about the above. Text messages and CNN screen crawls haven’t exactly slowed the pace of scientiﬁc discovery. And our experiences can’t change the brain’s basic capacities. All interesting points—and things to consider when developing event content. It’s also my excuse/inspiration for ﬁlling this space with random thoughts instead of a cohesive note. Here goes: Speaking of Flying The experience was ﬁlled with the indignities we’ve come to expect from airline travel. Extra fees for checked luggage, food, and Wi-Fi. (I’m half expecting to pay to rent a seat belt next time.) I folded myself into an exit row seat that somehow had less legroom than normal, if you can believe that. But Then… Consider the contrast of checking in at the new Andaz West Hollywood. The concept, as I see it, is modern boutique hotel design with homey service touches. (I’ve also toured the Andaz Wall Street in New York.) There’s no front desk; casually dressed roving staffers armed with tablet computers check you in while sitting on a sofa or standing at a kiosk. The minibar snacks and sodas are free, you pay for booze and beer. There is free Internet access, too, which always wins points from me. (I should note I stayed there because the hotel has a business deal with BizBash.)
Flowers from Vert-De-Gris at Politico’s brunch after the White House Correspondent’s Association dinner
112 W. Hubbard Street Chicago IL 60654 312.222.4940 | www.epicrestaurantchicago.com
What are your must-haves for outdoor events? “I always make sure the attendees know an event is scheduled outdoors so they can plan accordingly. Spiked heels on the grass? Not such a good idea.” Karen Grunwald, director of sales, Tech Events, Sacramento
“Covers for food, festive citronella torches, and netting to eliminate the annoyance of insects. I also always have Velcro strips on hand to ensure that tablecloths stay in place when the wind picks up.” David Turk, president, Indiana Market & Catering, New York
“Bug repellent. I usually set up a table with both wipes and sprays—nothing like mosquitoes to ruin the most glamorous events. Other must-haves: cold water and plenty of ice, sunscreen, bandages for scrapes and bruises, and baby wipes for dirty feet.” Leila Marie Eid, assistant director of events, Northeastern University, Boston
“Personalized wetnaps. Especially during summer events, ﬁnger foods and desserts can get sticky very quickly. Guests are always pleasantly surprised by a small jar of them on the table, and it’s a place to add a monogram, theme, or thank you for their attendance.” Stacey Kallenberg, founder, As You Wish Event Design, New York
“Bathroom facilities, water, and power. In order to appreciate the food, camaraderie, and entertainment, guests need to be comfortable.”
PHOTOS: TANIA LEZAK PHOTOGRAPHY (KALLENBERG), TEEKAY PHOTOGRAPHY (ZUCKER)
Joan Rothbard, president, Recreation Picnic Services, New Jersey
“Great beverages. Sometimes wine and spirits aren’t in the budget, but you can do a lot with water. Water stations infused with fruits like strawberries, oranges, limes, or mint leaves can make water pretty and exciting to drink. ” Ula Francoise Zucker, events and media coordinator, City of Miami Gardens
“A contingency plan. There is no climate control outside, just climate management.” Nancy Solero, principal, the Event Reﬁnery, Delaware
“Air-conditioned shelter, or at least overhead fans. Sunscreen, well-ventilated potties, caterers who understand what it means to cater outdoors, bug repellent, and handheld battery-operated fans. Also, knowledge of the terrain on which the event is held so you can mark off any areas where tree roots are above ground.” Joan Eisenstodt, meetings and hospitality consultant, Eisenstodt Associates LLC, Washington
“Bright colors to complement what Mother Nature has already provided.” Linette Young, Beyond Expectations Meetings and Events, San Francisco
Compiled by Claire Hoffman
bizbash.com summer 2010 9
MY NEW FAVORITE THING
Whether you’re planning a daytime meeting or an evening celebration, the Chicago History Museum offers a sophistication and elegance you won’t ﬁnd anywhere else. Spaces include reception, conference and breakout rooms, as well as an auditorium—all with access to our exhibition galleries. To host your event at the Chicago History Museum, call the Events Department at 312.799.2254.
Clark Street at North Avenue 312.642.4600 www.chicagohistory.org
Dianne Velez, vice president, Colorblind Productions, New York
My Cool New Job Niels Schuurmans has been named the executive vice president of brand marketing and creative at Spike. Schuurmans has been senior vice president at the company since 2004. He previously spent 13 years at Nickelodeon.
“It’s time to take the brand to the next level and turn these shows into franchises. For our show Blue Mountain State, we went to college campuses and hosted games. We sponsored supercross, a motorcycle event. We don’t even air supercross, but those are the guys we want to speak to. We had logo presence and people at the tailgates handing out Spike stuff. I want consumers to actually touch and feel the brand.”
WHAT INSPIRES ME
There’s A Better Way bizbash.com/jobboard The Best Job Board in the Business FIND JOBS / POST JOBS / GET BACK TO WORK
“The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World with Kindness by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Korval is a lovely reminder of how the simplest of thoughtful gestures can determine a successful outcome of a project or event.” Gina Tepavchevich, meeting and event coordinator, board affairs, Radiological Society of North America, Chicago
PHOTOS: ART ANTONIK (TEPAVCHEVICH), COURTESY OF SPIKE (SCHUURMANS), COURTESY OF CONTACT KEEPER
WHERE BUSINESS MEETS CLASS.
“Contact Keeper ($12.99-$29.99, contactkeeper.com), a notebook with slots for business cards and space for writing notes. It keeps my contacts in order until I have the time to sit on my computer and input them.”
see a breathtaking performance, host an amazing event or thrill your guests with both!
Broadway In Chicago can help you design a cocktail reception for 1,100, plan a meeting for 2,244, entertain 350 dinner guests on stage or virtually any other experience imaginable.
Contact: Leslee Jones, Broadway In Chicago t 17 North State, Suite 810, Chicago, IL 60602 (312) 977-1701 ext.1273 t email@example.com t www.BroadwayInChicago.com
A meeting venue that’s ready to make history. ͚͙͘͘ǡ ̾ ǡ ǯ ǡ Ȃ ǤƤ ͆͛͡͞Ǥ ȉ ͜͜ǡ͘͘͘ ȉȉ ͙͘͞ƤǦ ͙͘͞ƤǦǡ ͚͡ ȉȉ ͚͘ǡ͘͘͘Ǧ ͚͘ǡ͘͘͘Ǧ͙͜
̾Ǥ ǡ ͙͚͛Ǥ͘͞͞Ǥ͚͘͘͠ Ǥ Ǥ ǡ
͙͙͝ ǡ ͛͘͘͞͞ ͙͚͛Ǥ͘͞͞Ǥ͚͘͘͠ ͙͚͛Ǥ͘͞͞Ǥ͚͙͘͠ Ǥ
ơ ͚͙͘͘Ǥ Ǥ ơ ơǤ͚͙̽͘͘ ǡ Ǥ
PHOTO: COURTESY OF REBECCA WARD
CAUGHT ON TAPE Austin, Texas-based artist Rebecca Ward (rebeccasward.com) uses colored gaffer tape to create vivid, site-speciﬁc installations that play off existing architecture. Ward lays evenly spaced lines of tape that crisscross ceilings and staircases, rise up from ﬂoors and walls, and form three-dimensional sculptures. Ward has done corporate commissions, including an eyecatching hot pink and yellow work for Kate Spade’s New York ﬂagship store. Her installations can range from tape-only creations to more elaborate designs that incorporate video and projections. More photos of her work are on BizBash.com. —Lisa Cericola
13 bizbash.com summer 2010
For its Best New Chefs event in New York in April, Food & Wine created postcards with images of cutlery and wine bottles printed by Corporate Color (800.242.5364, corporatecolor.com).
Priority Mail By LISA CERICOLA
TEXTURE For the launch of music video Web site Vevo in New York in December, Alpine Creative Group (212.989.4198, alpine creativegroup.com) created a two-panel rubber invite that peeled apart. On the front was a holographic foil stamp of Vevo’s logo. The inside text was silk screened with a special ink that wouldn’t rub off. For the opening of Tyler Perry’s Atlanta studios, Creative Intelligence (323.936.9009, creativeintelligence.com) hand-wrapped each invitation in crushed silk taffeta. Inside, the center panel was engraved in metallic gold and merlot. Each invitation was wrapped in a cashmere paper sleeve with the recipient’s name calligraphed in gold.
John Kneapler Design (212.463.9774, johnkneaplerdesign. com) created a patriotic invite for the Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation’s gala at the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum in New York in October.
TOYS In April, Washington’s Corcoran Gallery of Art held a press preview for an exhibit of work by Eadweard Muybridge, who pioneered stereographs, an early form of 3-D. Westland Enterprises (301.736.0600, westlandenter prises.com) printed a Muybridge stereograph on natural cardstock. American Paper Optics (800.767.8427, 3dglassesonline.com) provided 3-D glasses.
TYPE For an April 2009 wedding showcase, Mélangerie Inc. (646.248.7823, melangerienyc.com) created a simple yet striking invitation based on a “naughty and nice” theme illustrated with two fonts in contrasting colors and styles.
Mackenzie Brown Design (312.443.1000, mackenziebrown.com) created a text-driven invite for the Chicago-based Adler Planetarium’s 2009 Celestial Ball, which had a “cosmic fusion” theme. To create an explosive look, the ﬁrm merged a vibrant stock image with a bold font on iridescent paper.
14 bizbash.com summer 2010
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF MACKENZIE BROWN DESIGN, COURTESY OF TYLER PERRY STUDIOS, JOHN KNEAPLER DESIGN, BIZBASH (ALL OTHERS)
Paper invites can get lost in the shufﬂe. Here are seven that grabbed guests’ attention with…
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF UNITED ENTERTAINMENT, COURTESY OF W.A.C. LIGHTING, COURTESY OF SENTINA
How do you attract younger guests? By giving events a youthful edge, organizations can draw new customers and donors, and corporations can attract emerging talent or new customers. From carefully curated soundtracks to high-impact entertainment, here are some ways to draw fresh faces. In Chicago, Saks Fifth Avenue director of marketing Julie Selakovich tapped online magazine CheekyChicago.com, which has a core readership of 25- to 40-year-old women, to publicize an in-store fashion show. Saks and Cheeky staffers selected “six inﬂuential, fashionable people in Chicago,” including PR reps and members of the media, to serve as hosts and models. The event had a fun, low-key vibe with a shiny pink runway by Kehoe Designs, a DJ, and refreshments from sponsors MGD 64 and VitaminWater Zero. Through email blasts from Cheeky, postings on social networking sites, and word-of-mouth publicity from the host committee, the event drew 150 guests. “More than half were new customers to Saks Fifth Avenue,” Selakovich says. In April, Hillary Smith and Sarah Turk of Miami’s Koncept Events worked on a national road show to promote Cover Girl’s Clean Founda-
tion line of cosmetics. Held in the parking lots of stores such as Rite Aid and Walgreens, the events offered free makeovers and product education. Because the makeup is geared toward 13- to 21-year-old women, the events’ “marketing, signage, color palette, and even the uniforms and look of the makeup artists, were chosen to appeal to that age range,” Smith says. “We also created a playlist with that age group in mind, [with] artists such as Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga.” Smith says the coupon redemption for Clean Foundation products was “through the roof” and estimates that 75 to 90 percent of guests purchased products on site. In the nonproﬁt realm, planners are using after-parties to target emerging philanthropists. When the Art Institute of Chicago debuted its Matisse exhibition in March, the women’s board hosted an elegant gala with a champagne reception, a string quartet, and a three-course dinner. Geared toward a younger crowd, a separate event—new this year—started at 10 p.m. in the museum’s upper-level restaurant. There, guests found pillowstrewn lounge areas, a dance ﬂoor with disco balls, and a buffet of sliders and French fries. Dubbed “Radical
Night,” the event had a separate host committee comprised of young area United Enterprofessionals. tainment Group, Some 350 guests, Cover Girl’s New most in the 21-to York-based PR 40-year-old age and marketing range, attended. agency, enlisted The party was Koncept Events “certainly a great to stage a ﬁvesuccess,” says city road show director of donor geared toward initiatives Anne women who are Henry. “It raised just starting to a bit of money. use makeup. More importantly, though, it was an opportunity to welcome a new audience. All ticket purchasers who were not already members of the museum received a membership with their ticket.” Jung Lee, co-founder of New York production company Fête, says that clients with particularly dry corporate cultures hire her to produce events that will help retain younger employees. In addition to keeping current staffers, she says, “great corporate events can be selling tools to attract great new talent during the recruiting process.” Lee says that uninteresting
entertainment is a common mistake at corporate gatherings. “Most event entertainment goes on a little too long,” she said. “Young employees have a shorter attention span and will get bored.” Lee recommends hiring entertainers who can deliver short, high-impact performances that incorporate contemporary humor. She has wrangled up-andcoming comedian Aziz Ansari and talent from Second City Entertainment. She’s also hired a professional pickpocket artist to roam cocktail receptions and pluck guests’ watches and wallets. —Jenny Berg
An LED-lit bar
Ideal for trade show booths, bars and tables, or product displays, Invisiled Tape is an adhesive strip of LED lighting from W.A.C. Lighting (516.515.5000, waclighting.com). To use, just cut the product to the desired length and adLI G HTI N G here. The company also offers mounting clips for added security. The lighting is available in amber, blue, green, red, white, and a rotating palette, and lasts about 50,000 hours. The company also recently released an outdoor version of the product that can withstand rain and other conditions. Retail pricing starts at about $75 per foot for the single-color indoor version. —Lisa Cericola
Multiple USigns can be linked to create a tower.
D.I.Y. SIGNAGE Ideal for exhibits or check-in stations, Sentina’s (908.964.8109, biz.sentinasmart.com) USign allows planners to create their own illuminated signs. The lightweight display frames are made of recycled plastic and have built-in LED lighting. To create a custom display, print a sign on TR ADE SHOWS an 8- by 11-inch transparency sheet and slide it into the frame. USigns cost $80 each and can be linked together to create a freestanding tower. —L.C.
bizbash.com summer 2010 15
New on the Menu
Meat-Free and Memorable Vegetarians often get short shrift on event menus. Here are three substantial meatless entrees. By LISA CERICOLA
Tofu cabbage rolls in ginger broth with chrysanthemum greens and bok choy, from Daniel et Daniel (416.968.9275, danieletdaniel.ca) in Toronto
Grilled vegetable napoleon of eggplant, yellow squash, zucchini, peppers, mushrooms, and phyllo with roasted red pepper sauce and goat cheese, from Phil Stefani Signature Events (312.226.7611, stefanicatering.com) in Chicago
TAKE IT OUTSIDE
Solei coffee table, $120, available throughout California from Designer8 Event Furniture Rental (800.709.7007, designer8furniturerental.com)
IsabellĂŠ linen-burlap sofa, $350, available across the U.S. from Suite 206 (214.749.0400, suite206.com)
These six outdoor-friendly rentals incorporate natural touches such as wood, rattan, burlap, and faux shrubbery. By LISA CERICOLA
Meridian Leaf lounge, $237, available across the U.S. and Canada from Cort Event Furnishings (888.710.2525, cortevents.com)
16 bizbash.com summer 2010
ButterďŹ‚y Effect tables, $220 each, available across the U.S. from Fresh Wata (323.951.0617, freshwata.com)
Boxwood hedge planter, $535, available throughout Southern California from FormDecor (714.493.9501, formdecor.com)
Broadway chair, $250, available across the U.S. from AFR Furniture Rental and Event Furnishings (888.237.7368, afrevents.com)
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF VENDORS (FURNITURE), NICK ULIVERI (NAPOLEON), RUSSEL DAY (CABBAGE ROLLS), JESSICA BOONE FOR BIZBASH (PAELLA)
Vegetable paella with saffron-scented rice, tofu, and vegetables, from Contemporary Catering (310.558.8190, contemporarycatering.com) in Los Angeles
CHICAGO ßWESTßONTARIOßß ßßHARDROCKMEETINGSCOM
PERSONAL CHEF Elaina Vazquez draws on her ﬁne-dining background to cook globally inspired multicourse menus for meetings and events. says. “I originally wanted to bring small, elegant, multi-course dinners into people’s homes.” Before long, Vazquez was also getting tapped to cater corporate events and fundraisers with as many as 500 guests. “Even with hundreds of guests, I try to give each dish the ﬂavor of something you’d get at a small high-end restaurant,” Vazquez says. She describes her cuisine as a mix of contemporary American and French, with a few Latin ﬂavors from her Puerto Rican background. Apart from her cooking style, Vazquez says her business is unique because of the personal attention clients receive. “I am always physically at each event. I have found that many catering companies don’t have this obvious front-and-center person.” Last fall, Boutique Bites
A GREEN SOURCE FOR FLOWERS Lynn Fossbinder founded Pollen (773.387.1398, pollenﬂoraldesign.com), a Ravenswood-based ﬂoral design company, last July. Originally focused on weddings, Fossbinder is extending her offerings to corporate and nonproﬁt clients. Using locally grown DE CO R ﬂowers and greens whenever possible, her arrangements incorporate blooms such as peonies, dahlias, delphiniums, and orchids from a greenhouse in Villa Park. Fossbinder uses a hybrid car for deliveries and composts all organic byproducts of An arrangement of her work. —J.B. billy balls by Pollen
18 bizbash.com summer 2010
prepared three courses for a 150-guest beneﬁt for the Josslyn Center for Mental Health at the Kenilworth Elaina Club. The menu was Vazquez inspired by classic comfort foods, and offerings included deviled eggs with Japanese spices and butternut squash risotto. “Elaina is able to beautifully match tastes and colors to a season, and she couldn’t be more creative and meticulous,” says event chair Ila Rotschild. “She also has an expert staff. The people at the venue said that when [Boutique Bites] left, the kitchen looked like it had been cleaned by a professional.” —Jenny Berg
Corn soup with curried popcorn and trufﬂe oil
Cupcakes from Sweet Miss Giving’s
Treats for a Good Cause Sweet Miss Giving’s (312.255.8470, sweetmissgivings.com), a bakery on the near north side, donates more than 50 percent of its proceeds to Chicago House, an organization that supports AIDS-affected locals CATE R I NG and operates a jobs program for disabled adults. Able to cater meetings and events, the bakery once prepared 5,400 frosted cookies for a corporate client. Signature items include red velvet cupcakes, oatmealraisin cookies, and morning glory mufﬁns. —J.B.
PHOTOS: SCOTT THOMPSON (PORTRAIT), COURTESY OF POLLEN, COURTESY OF SWEET MISS GIVING’S
After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, Elania Vazquez landed jobs at Tru and Avenues at the Peninsula, then headed out west to cook at Joël Robuchon at the Mansion at MGM Grand. In Las Vegas, several locals asked her to cater events in their homes on her days off, and while whipping up six-course dinners for social functions, Vazquez found her calling. “I realized that I kind of wanted to get out of restaurants,” she says. “This catering idea began ﬂoating around in my head.” About a year later, Vazquez packed her bags and headed back to Chicago, where she founded Boutique Bites Catering (847.334.6525, boutiquebites.com) in 2008. “Because I had so much ﬁne-dining experience, I was used to smaller courses and portions,” she
The Women’s Bean Project (womensbean project.com) hires women in poverty to create and package food items like salsa, chili, and bean soup mixes. Gift baskets start at $30.
Cookies for Kids’ Cancer (646.454.0386, cookiesforkidscancer.org) funds pediatric cancer research through the sale of baked goods, $30 per dozen.
TWICE AS NICE
Rara coasters, $12.95 for four, from the Hunger Site (888.355.4321, thehungersite.com) are made by Haitian artisans out of recycled materials and support Partners in Health.
These 10 corporate goodies have built-in charitable tie-ins. By LISA CERICOLA
Cards for Causes (888.832.4153, cards forcauses.com) creates personalized stationery, starting at $105 for 100 cards. Twenty percent of proceeds go to any licensed charity.
20 bizbash.com summer 2010
Through Bright Endeavors (773.388.2811, brightendeavors. org), homeless and at-risk young women make Dreambeam soy candles in recycled glass containers, $12 to $45.
New Orleans-based What’s Surbag (whatsurbag-usa. com) creates tote bags, $14.95 and up, that support Hope House’s food and shelter assistance, adult learning programs, and other services.
This unisex scarf, $30, from the Yellow Bird Project (yellowbird project.com) beneﬁts organizations such as Mercy Corps and Greenpeace.
Chocomize (856.375.2041, chocomize.com) offers 90 ingredients to create custom candy bars that start at $4 each. A small percentage goes to one of three charities, including the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
Charity: Water’s (646.688.2323, charitywater.org) stainless steel Thermos hydration bottle, $42, funds 20 years of clean water for two people in developing nations.
PHOTOS: ALL COURTESY OF VENDORS
Ten percent of proceeds from Presents for a Purpose’s (212.580.0515, presentsforpurpose. com) oilcloth toiletry bag, $25, go to one of 23 charities, including the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Social Life The social media gurus at Mashable drew a sold-out crowd to their most ambitious ofﬂine event yet, a daylong conference during New York Internet Week. Attendees tweeted and blogged from the conference.
Sponsor Motorola set up a photo booth and gave each attendee a phone.
Mashable editor in chief Adam Ostrow interviewed Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley. CNN co-hosted the summit and linked to online content from the day.
22 bizbash.com summer 2010
Like so many technology fests, New York Internet Week is a booze-soaked labyrinth of panels, launches, and networking events. It provides a brief, face-to-face respite for guests whose lives and professions revolve almost entirely around a glowing computer screen, so getting them to commit to one daylong event, in a week crammed with dozens of different initiatives, requires a compelling pitch. That was the dilemma for social media blog Mashable, whose previous Internet Week outing was a mixer with little opportunity for branding or audience education. Since it was founded in 2005, Mashable has become the de facto authority on marketing with social media and is only bested in U.S. blog trafﬁc by the Hufﬁngton Post and Gizmodo. Looking to create a signature event that could cater to the varied interests of its readership while providing an attractive opportunity for sponsors, the brand put on the Mashable Media Summit at the Times Center on June 8. Instead of typical conference panels, the summit lined up an entire day of presentations from social and digital media experts in arenas as diverse as hospitality, music, consumer branding, video production, and location technology, all speaking about how Web marketing and promotions worked to their advantage. By casting the widest possible net, Mashable hoped to court an equally diverse group of guests. “We’re known for throwing parties, but that’s not really what we’re about,” says Brett Petersel, who handles Mashable’s business development and events, but had never done anything on the scale of the summit. “I think it was time to see if we could really do something big like this.” After being heavily promoted on the site and appearing on recommended event lists from CNET and the Daily Beast, the summit drew a
sold-out crowd of more than 400. Attendees paid $499 for their nearly eight hours of live programming. “We didn’t really target speciﬁc people,” Petersel said. “We just put it out there, what we were doing, for the people who might be somewhat familiar with the terminology but wanted to learn how to do it and wanted to hear it from people who’d done it well.” Mashable looked to speakers who were recognizable, but not familiar speaking circuit faces. Coordinating with business and editorial staffers, Petersel brought in more than 20 experts, including Foursquare co-founder Dennis CrowBrett Petersel ley; Starbucks vice president of brand, content, and online Chris Bruzzo; and actor Edward Norton, who made a recent foray into social media with a fund-raising Web site called Crowdrise. Securing marketing partners ended up being easier. “A lot of sponsors just came to us,” said Petersel. He had worked with many of the brands before, though typically on events that offered less exposure. “As for the others, we approached our sponsors the same way we always do, giving them the opportunity to meet our audience, do some business, and see ﬁrsthand how much we’ve grown.” Yahoo, HP, and Motorola— which gave each attendee a new phone—were among the brands that came on board. The biggest partnership of all was with CNN. Mashable chief operations ofﬁcer Adam Hirsch, who ﬁrst came up with the idea of the summit, brought on the cable news network as an ofﬁcial co-host in the early stages. All of the day’s content—in addition to being streamed on Mashable—was available online via direct links on CNN’s home page. However, as might have been expected in a group so focused on social media, it was the guests who provided much of the content promotion. From start to ﬁnish, the conference offered the very meta sight of most attendees clacking out blog entries on laptops and Blackberries and stealthily tweeting from their new iPads.
PHOTOS: KENNETH YEUNG/THELETTERTWO.COM (PETERSEL), COURTESY OF MASHABLE (ALL OTHER PHOTOS)
By MICHAEL O’CONNELL
Mission Statements Decor can be more than just a backdrop. These six events show how stylish details can communicate an organization’s message or purpose. By LISA CERICOLA
At its May beneﬁt in New York, the Robin Hood Foundation communicated its mission through six verbs—teaches, heals, feeds, nurtures, trains, and shelters—showcased in streetscapes in the cocktail area created by Peter Crawford, Atomic Design, and PEDG.
In April, Feeding South Florida threw a military-themed event to illustrate the food bank’s mission to win the war on hunger. Guests drank “hand grenade” cocktails, a photo exhibit showed images of people affected by hunger, and tables had camo-patterned linens and wooden folding chairs from Panache, a division of Classic Party Rentals.
At Unicef’s April gala in Chicago, Kehoe Designs used moss to spell out the number of children who reportedly die from preventable causes. Unicef’s mission is to decrease that number to zero, hence the event’s theme, “Believe in zero.”
ON BIZBASH.COM More photos and ideas from these events
24 bizbash.com may/june 2010
At Boys & Girls Club of Boston’s House Party in May, Rafanelli Events celebrated the organization’s athletic program by decorating the space with red and white basketballs, footballs, and pennants branded with the tagline “Invest in a child, inspire a future.”
At the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum’s Butterﬂy Ball in May, Chicago’s Bukiety Inc. created centerpieces of ﬂowers that were later replanted in the museum’s butterﬂy garden. The Colorectal Cancer Screening Initiative Foundation and Colon Cancer Canada hosted its “Bottoms Up!” fund-raiser in May. Attendees purchased T-shirts that read “Smart Ass,” A La Carte Kitchen served desserts shaped like derrieres, and live auction items included toilet seats painted by notable designers.
PHOTOS: KEITH SIRCHIO FOR BIZBASH (ROBIN HOOD), AVIRAN LEVY (BOYS & GIRLS CLUB), EDDIE QUINONES FOR BIZBASH (BUTTERFLY BALL), BIZBASH (BOTTOMS UP), GAIL POLLARD (UNICEF), ROSIE HERNANDEZ/LET ME GROW STUDIO (FEEDING SOUTH FLORIDA)
PRSA Chicago’s July Luncheon
INSIDE EDGE Lincoln Park Zoo’s Opens Nature Boardwalk to Events Lincoln Park Zoo’s recently completed Nature Boardwalk creates a unique urban ecosystem with spectacular views of the Chicago skyline. Made with 100% recycled materials, the 1/2 mile boardwalk meanders around a serene pond and through native habitat for painted turtles, owls and the endangered black-crowned night heron. This idyllic promenade can be incorporated into events at either the Peoples Gas Education Pavilion or the Great Hall at Café Brauer. (312.742.2400, lpzoo.org)
Lettuce Entertain You Teams Up with Taste America What do you get when you pair a premier restaurant company with a leading caterer? Lettuce Off-Premise Events, the new partnership from Lettuce Entertain You and Taste America Catering. This partnership makes Lettuce’s famous cuisine available for any type of event in any venue whether it’s a reception in Millenium Park or dinner on a cruise ship. (312.527.9222, www.lettuceparties.com)
Event Creative Opens Stunning Two-Floor Venue Event design ﬁrm Event Creative has designed a lot of big spaces in its time; now it has one of its own. Venue One’s 12,000 square foot event space features elegant columns, high ceilings and sweeping views of the Chicago skyline. Venue One’s two ﬂoors can be conﬁgured for everything from intimate social functions to 1000-person corporate events. (312.327.0111, www. venueonechicago.com)
Attendees at the Chicago Public Relations Society of America July 13th luncheon were treated to an outstanding corporate roundtable and learned ﬁrst-hand what issues keep Chicago’s leading corporate public relations practitioners up at night plus how to successfully manage those challenges. Guests were treated to delicious food from Maggiano’s Little Italy and enjoyed reading the most recent edition of BizBash Chicago magazine while discussing the upcoming BizBash Chicago Expo & Awards. If you are interested in getting your association connected with BizBash events, please contact Marissa Rubin at 646-839-6838 or marissa@ bizbash.com PRSA Chicago Board Member Dawn McKenzie with her BizBash Magazine
John Hancock Observatory Opens Full Liquor Bar Whatâ€™s better than taking in breathtaking 360Âş views of Chicago from the John Hancock Observatory? Those same views with a top-shelf cocktail in hand. The worldfamous Observatory just opened a full liquor bar to complement the only open-air SkyWalk in town, the worldâ€™s most advanced telescope technology and a multimedia tour. With affordable bar packages, catering solutions and a 600-person capacity, the Observatory is the perfect venue for a high visibility event. Literally. (312.654.5021, www. hancockobservatory.com)
Classic, GMIC and BizBash Partner on Green Event Mentorship Program Classic Party Rentals, the Green Meeting Industry Council and BizBash Media have united to create the Green Event Mentorship program. This national initiative will train industry professionals to mentor their peers on how to incorporate sustainable practices into their meetings and events. Keep an eye out for more information at classicpartyrentals.com and bizbash.com. In the meantime, learn about green meetings and events from GMIC at http://www.greenmeetings.info/.
Coming in your next BizBash Magazine â€˘ Last-Minute Holiday Party Ideas as â€“ Time to Celebrate e the Season, but What to Do? â€˘ Event Planners of the Year â€“ Our Editors Reveal the Event Strategists Who Shined. Learn Their Secrets to Success. â€˘ Audio/Visual Production/ Staging â€“ Practical Ideas for Planners
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3 Subscribe today at bizbash.com/subscribe, using the subscription form in the magazine or by calling Tracey Harilall at 646-839-6835. 3 To reserve ad space, please contact Sue Babin at 312-436-2526 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Something Different Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS brought a futuristic look to the Palomar House Hilton for its annual gala on June 12.
An illuminated blue wall served as a backdrop for the evening’s speaking program.
The white dance ﬂoor, which Tom Kehoe called a “runway dance ﬂoor,” was 117 feet long.
The charity’s logo adorned tabletop vases.
Floating candles topped the round tables, where futuristic bowls held glowing LED lights.
30 bizbash.com summer 2010
has an uncanny resemblance to the look of the 2009 gala,” said Cassis. “It’s very baroque, and very red. And people hadn’t seen the ballrooms yet, so at the beginning they thought this was just a continuation of last year’s event.” Instead, the ballroom had a blue-and-white look designed by Tom Kehoe of Kehoe Designs. Meant to represent the future, the space held fog The Diffa AIDS fund-raiser got fog machines that imparted “an ethereal, othermachines and a futuristic theme. worldly, almost dewy quality,” said Cassis. “The room felt like a movie during a ﬂash-forward seA red, white, and blue color scheme quence. It had the feeling of not being in the now.” CHICAGO is a staple of summertime parties. The event raked in an estimated $365,000 But at the June 12 gala for the Chicago chapter of and drew 520 guests. Design Industries Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS, the Apart from raising Foundation Fighting hues nodded to something other than the Ameri- funds, the evening AIDS Chicago’s Gala can ﬂag. According to co-chair Richard Cassis, the served as the unofblack-tie affair used red to represent the past, ﬁcial social kickoff of Catering, Sound, Venue Palmer House Hilton while blue and white symbolized the future. NeoCon, a confer“The overarching theme for the Diffa Chicago ence and expo for the Decor, Design Kehoe Designs campaign is ‘believe,’ and we started that last contract furnishings DJ, Entertainment Circuit year,’” said Cassis. “In 2009, the gala concept was industry that took Mom Productions ‘Believe in the magic of the moment.’ The whole place at the Merchan- Entertainment Opus 3 Artists thing was very done up, with gilded frames and dise Mart earlier in Event Management, lush reds and purples. This year, our vision was ‘Be- the week. The crowd Production Total Event lieve 2010, see 2020,’ which represented a perfect was mostly NeoCon Resources Graphic Design, Printing, vision of an AIDS-free world. So we were talking attendees, including Signage, Web Site Design about the future, which we hope is a world with- interior designers, Sparc Inc. out AIDS.” fashion designers, and Lighting VLS Inc. To infuse the gala with a futuristic vibe, executives from such Linens Sculptware, BBJ Linen planners—somewhat ironically—wanted to start companies as SteelVideo PSAV Presentation in the past. “We started with cocktails in the Red case and Herman Services Lacquer Room of the Palmer House Hilton, which Miller. —Jenny Berg
PHOTOS: RYAN SJOSTROM (DANA FLOOR, METAL BOWL), RANDY MICHAEL KORWIN/RMK PHOTO (BLUE WALL, TABLETOP VASES, TABLES)
Long, illuminated tables held rectangular vases wrapped in the Diffa logo and ﬁlled with ﬂoating votive candles.
Guests could also scoop up vintage comic books.
PHOTOS: EDDIE QUINONES FOR BIZBASH
The producers of Comic Con brought a new expo—and stormtroopers—to Chicago. On April 16 at McCormick Place, a CHICAGO grown woman wearing silky blue cat ears squealed over a little girl sporting a mini Superwoman cape. A couple, both wearing white face makeup that recalled Heath Ledger’s character from the last Batman movie, strolled past, and in another corner, a man hawking custom corsets asked a passersby: “May I have the pleasure of tying you up?” In short, there were plenty of curiosities at the ﬁrst Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, held at the convention center from April 16 to 18. The ﬁrst-time event was produced by the Reed Exhibitions Pop Culture Group, the team that organizes New York’s Comic Con. “Our customers, and particularly the big publishers like Marvel and DC and Dark Horse, really wanted to see a large-scale, broad-base, pop culture event that is professionally run take place in Chicago,” said Lance Fensterman, Reed’s Connecticut-based vice president of publishing and pop culture. “When your customers tell you what to do, it makes it easy to make the decision to do it.” Fensterman explained that Chicago has a “really strong comic retailer community. The Chicago area alone has about three times as many comic retailers as all of New York, and a really strong educational community. The city has a great mix of fans, students, and creators.” Even with a seemingly built-in base of enthusiasts, Fensterman said that the greatest challenge of launching the new event was “trying to get market awareness, and getting our customers to support something that has never been done before.” He said that Reed’s strategy was to “work the base and motivate the hard-core comic book fans,” including original content creators, comic book artists, and fans. The show drew around 27,500 attendees and offered 200 exhibitors, 175 panels and screenings, and appearances from industry names such as Neil Gaiman, Chris Ware, and Alex Ross. Chicago Comic & Fensterman said that Entertainment Expo the show will return Audiovisual Production to McCormick Place Lakeshore Audiovisual next April, and will Catering, Venue McCormick Place become an annual Signage Global Experience occurrence. Specialists (GES) —Jenny Berg
Throughout the weekend, guests gathered around the Marvel booth to watch video game demonstrations and participate in giveaways and mock game shows. In an area called “Artists Alley,” artists sketched and signed autographs throughout the weekend.
Buttons, drawings of the ﬁlm character Edward Scissorhands, and gargoyle masks were available for purchase.
Marvel was one of several major comic book publishers to exhibit. Others included Dark Horse and DC.
At its booth, Fox Valley Tattoo demonstrated services on guests.
Kids had the opportunity to have their photos snapped with costumed Stormtroopers.
bizbash.com july/august 2010 31
Saturday afternoon’s Live Your Best Life event took over part of the Javits Center, ﬁlling it with seminars, activities, and sponsor activations.
Orman, Dr. Mehmet Oz, designer Nate Berkus, and others—and a small trade show of participating sponsors. “We kept our seminar piece intact, but we wanted to dress it up with other events. Slowly Oprah Winfrey’s magazine marked 10 but surely, we layered all of the pieces on it,” Manyears with a sold-out weekend of events. ning said. Those other elements included a separate registration event to welcome the attendees For the 10th Anniversary of O, (from all 50 states and abroad), the live evening NEW YORK The Oprah Magazine, the media program with Winfrey at Radio City Music Hall on queen brought in all of her different properties Saturday, and the public charity walk. for a weekend of events for 5,500 women that After announcing the program, O received included a registration kickoff party, seminars overwhelming interest in the weekend, but decidat the Javits Center, a performance at Radio City, ed early on to cap attendance at 5,500, the capacity and a Mother’s Day charity walk. at Radio City. “We didn’t want to sell Oprah’s Live Your Best “It’s been a little over a year the events individually,” Manning Life Weekend since we started working on this,” said, “so we decided to make it a full Party Production Empire said O associate publisher of weekend event by limiting to the Entertainment Inc. marketing Stefanie Manning. “And capacity of the program venue.” Party Venue Radio City while the magazine put this on, On Sunday, May 9, the regisMusic Hall we worked in tandem with all the trants were joined by an additional PR Susan Magrino Agency Oprah properties, which was a ﬁrst.” Registration Catering 5,000 members of the public for a Thomas Preti Caterers O marketing art director Jessica Mother’s Day charity walk to Times Registration Lighting Podoshen came up with the design Square, which, after the bomb Bentley Meeker Lighting for the weekend, and the magazine scare the week before, ended up & Staging Registration Production, enlisted Empire Entertainment and being one of the more complicated Seminar Production LeadDog Marketing to produce the elements of the weekend. LeadDog Marketing Group different events. “That was a little frightening, Inc. The magazine holds signature but we worked hand-in-hand with Registration Venue Gotham Hall events every year, but this was the the city,” Manning said. The walk Seminar Lighting PRG ﬁrst in New York and the ﬁrst to went off without a hitch, and after Lighting incorporate so many different eleleading more than 10,000 walkers Seminar Venue Jacob K. ments. The Live Your Best Life events from the Intrepid to Times Square, Javits Convention Center Walk Stafﬁng Lipari have previously been limited to a Winfrey took the stage and conProduction Group day of seminars with magazine cluded the weekend’s festivities. Walk Venue Times Square contributors—ﬁnance expert Suze —Michael O’Connell
At the end of Sunday’s charity walk, Winfrey took to a stage in Times Square to address the crowd and wrap up the weekend.
Attendees tacked messages onto the Inspiration Wall at the Javits Center. Sponsor L’Oréal Paris offered makeovers, sampling, and tips at the Javits Center and the day before at Gotham Hall.
32 bizbash.com july/august 2010
PHOTOS: CHRIS ECKERT PHOTOGRAPHY/© HARPO INC., GEORGE BURNS/© HARPO INC.
The Big 1-O
Photo credit: Rick Aguilar Studios
Bright ﬂowers and driftwood added an organic vibe to the contemporary dinner decor.
New Addition The I.C.A. took its gala to a raw space this year, and introduced an after-party. The Institute of Contemporary Art hosted its annual spring fund-raising event on May 7, this year attracting larger crowds with its ﬁrst-ever after-party, dubbed “Party on the Harbor.” The evening kicked off with the “A Gala Celebration” cocktail party and dinner in the adjacent One Marina Park building in Fan Pier. “We wanted to liven up the night. Not everyone could come to the dinner, and it was a nice way to let people come and not invest in a major ticket price,” said Susie Allen, the museum’s Astroturf and illuminated director of special bars transformed the raw events. ofﬁce space for cocktail hour.
PHOTOS: AVIRAN LEVY PHOTOGRAPHY FOR BIZBASH
Mini screens placed on serving trays displayed work from the museum’s teen programs.
Using green Astroturf, fake hedging, and glowing plastic bars, PBD Events transformed the 13th ﬂoor of the new Marina Park Building from a raw, concrete-and-glass shell. Custom, industriallooking light bulb chandeliers and mirrored tables contrasted with wooden tabletops and tropical ﬂowers for an organic-meets-contemporary vibe. Inspired by the museum’s Dr. Lakra exhibition, servers donned T-shirts with tattoo designs by the artist. Max Ultimate Food provided a martini juice bar, passed hors d’oeuvres, a twocourse meal, and an old-fashioned ice cream truck outside. Large arrows formed from white ﬂuorescent lights guided the 430 dinner guests to walk across the boardwalk to the I.C.A., where they joined 300 additional guests. Packed with entertainment and special activities, the fete included henna tattoo stations and a photo booth that projected the images it took around the building. Local band Endway provided live music for a secondI.C.A. Gala ﬂoor dessert lounge Catering Max Ultimate supplied by Wolfgang Food, Wolfgang Puck Catering Puck Catering. Decor, Production, Rentals Downstairs, DJ PBD Events (Party by Ruckus performed Design) and guests were ofDJ DJ Ruckus Entertainment Endway fered I.C.A. branded Flowers Winston Flowers ﬂip-ﬂops for their Rentals Be Our Guest Inc. sore feet at the Venue Institute of end of the evening. Contemporary Art —Erica Corsano
During the park-theme cocktail reception, guests helped themselves to cocktails in water coolers.
Giant branches and ﬂoating candles decorated a sunken area in the all-white dinner room, where 400 guests had vodka shots, caviar, burgers, and fries.
Planners aimed to “break the party down into those three different elements,” Merlin said. “We loved the idea of [juxtaposing] a beautiful, elegant dinner with somewhere to engage your inner child, play, and have fun with cocktails.” As The Museum of Contemporary Art for the after-dinner rock concert from Camp Fredmixed caviar, rock stars, and a teeter dy—a cover band whose rotating cast of famous totter at its annual fund-raiser. musicians featured Dave Navarro on guitar for the event— “our chair felt very strongly that that part At the May 14 ArtEdge beneﬁt, host- of the party would have a down-and-dirty rock CHICAGO ed by the Museum of Contemporary theme,” Merlin said. The beneﬁt’s ever-changing look gave Merlin Art, guests engaged in a variety of seemingly incongruous activities. During the cocktail reception and the Event Creative team a tight time frame in which to ﬂip the space. As soon as at Venue One, the new event space guests left the park-theme cocktail owned and represented by Event Museum of reception and headed downstairs Creative, partygoers blew bubbles, Contemporary Art’s for dinner, staffers got to work played hopscotch, and doodled on ArtEdge Beneﬁt upstairs. In one hour, they plastered chalkboards. By dinnertime, they Catering Wolfgang Puck concert posters over chalkboards were feasting on caviar in a sleek, Catering Celebrity Wrangling Diane and replaced white seat cushions all-white space ﬁlled with candles, Meagher Event Inc. with black ones on swing sets and and the night ended with a rock Design, Flowers, lounge furniture. A blue-and-purple concert on a skull-adorned stage. Production Kim Merlin lighting scheme gave the after-party According to Kim Merlin, an Draping, Lighting, Production, Props, Sound, a moody vibe, and the illuminated event designer and set decorator Staging, Video Event bar—white during cocktail hour— who has worked on such ﬁlms as Creative was covered with black panels with Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, Entertainment Camp die-cut skull and crossbones. three buzzwords contributed to the Freddy There was one more surprise in night’s multiple themes. In planning Furniture Rentals Taylor Creative Inc. store for guests who stuck around sessions with Gina Crowley, the muInvitations Scott Reinhard all evening: At about 11 p.m., unanseum’s director of special events and Linens BBJ Linen nounced guest Chrissie Hynde of rentals, chair Cari Sacks, the volunPrinting Lowitz & Sons Rentals Classic Party the Pretenders appeared onstage teer planning committee, and proRentals and sang her hit “Brass in Pocket” ducers from Event Creative, “three Security, Valet VIP Valet as museum donors danced along. words were bandied about,” Merlin Venue Venue One —Jenny Berg said. “They were eat, play, rock.”
PHOTOS: ERIC CRAIG FOR BIZBASH
Eat, Play, Rock
With a park theme, the cocktail reception offered an indoor swing and daisy-lined sod. With Dave Navarro on guitar, Camp Freddy covered rock classics such as “Paradise City.”
Wolfgang Puck Catering’s caviar with smoked salmon, egg, and toasted brioche. During the one-hour ﬂip, staffers covered the illuminated bar with black die-cut panels.
bizbash.com july/august 2010 35
Outside the store, Redmoon performers dressed as stilt-walking horses in custom Hermès suits ﬂown in from New York and ﬁtted on site.
Performers from Redmoon donned horse masks and sang a short customized opera.
the corner of Rush and Oak Streets on a Thursday?” Turns out, the job involved getting permits from the city to erect no-parking signs outside the store early Thursday morning. A local farmer delivHermès opened its Chicago ﬂagship ered the bales on a ﬂatbed truck at 6 a.m. A team with opera-singing horses and of 14 assistants then unloaded the props, covered beribboned hay bales. their bands in Hermès ribbons, and doused them with a ﬂame-retardant spray before arranging There are standards, and then there them on the curb. “At the end of the night, we had CHICAGO are Parisian standards. When proto do the whole process in reverse,” Valenti added. ducing the June 8 opening party for Hermès’s Valenti also had to overcome logistical Midwestern ﬂagship store—a 6,000-square-foot hurdles to respect the venue’s aesthetic quality. space in the former Barneys building—planners “The store has exact, clean lines and a beautihad to adhere to the latter set of expectations. ful central staircase as its focal point,” he said. “The concepts for all of our events are conceived Because Redmoon performers were scheduled in Paris, from the Hermès events team there,” said to present a brief customized opera for guests, Bernice Kwok-Gabel, the New York-based “you need sound,” Valenti said. “So in the back of U.S. director of public relations for the French my mind, I was thinking ‘How on earth do I make luxury brand. speakers look good?’ I didn’t want to run cables Founded by a couple of brothers, Hermès or do anything that would muddle up that stairbegan in 1837 as a purveyor of saddles and harcase.” Ultimately, Valenti and Sound Investment nesses. “Everything that we do as a company employed a wireless speaker system. reﬂects our equestrian history and the fact that To further avoid congestion on the store’s we’re hands-on craftsmen,” said Kwok-Gabel. focal point, staffers stuck to one level. “There Indeed, the event was infused with strict attenwere upwards of 100 catering staffers,” Valenti tion to detail, starting with the costumes for the said, “and we treated the event as if it were two horse-head-wearing stilt-walkers different parties: one on the ﬁrst Hermès Chicago Store who ﬂanked the store’s entrance. ﬂoor and one on the second ﬂoor. Opening The performers wore Hermès suits We didn’t want to have waiters ﬂown in from New York and custom Catering Calihan Catering, going up and down that beautiful Olivier Cheng Catering ﬁtted by on-site seamstresses. staircase.” and Events Steven Valenti, owner of All The opening drew around 700 Entertainment Redmoon Things Party, provided on-theguests and “couldn’t have been Theater Event Management Skirt ground assistance for the New York more graciously received,” KwokPR and Parisian teams. “The creative Gabel said. “Usually, when it’s a PR The Experiential Agency concept absolutely came out of fashion event, people always have Chicago, XA Paris,” he conﬁrmed. “My job was to something to say. But this time, Production All Things Party implement their vision. So, for me, it Sound Sound Investment we’ve received nothing but thankLtd. came down to questions like, how you notes. I’m sorry, but I ﬁnd that Valet AF Parking do you get straw bales delivered to very unprecedented.” —Jenny Berg
New-York-based caterer Olivier Cheng prepared a buffet of French desserts atop All Thing Party’s custom bar.
Olivier Cheng also provided savory hors d’oeuvres such as foie-gras-pistachio trufﬂes. Young equestrians assisted with the ribbon-cutting ceremony that kicked off the event, and then stuck around for dessert.
36 bizbash.com july/august 2010
PHOTOS: BARRY BRECHEISEN
en different cocktails offered by Patrón, a sponsor along with AT&T, Dior Watches, Bermuda, and Egypt. Conde Nast Traveler took its Hot DJ Jesse Marco spun List party—and its sponsors— as a huge video from New York to Las Vegas. screen displayed images from the year, Conde Nast Traveler’s magazine and of LAS VEGAS This Hot List party provided a road to Aria. Vignettes of a destination well traveled: For the ﬁrst time, the Bermuda and Egypt annual event left New York for Las Vegas. With the brought these destiGavin Rossdale Aria Resort & Casino featured on the 2010 list, vice nations to life: a wall performed. president and publisher Chris Mitchell and editor of real ﬂowers found in chief Klara Glowczewska hosted the party at on the island and a putting green signiﬁed the the hotel’s new nightclub, Haze. A crowd of more former, while a tented hookah lounge reprethan 800 people attended the event, among them sented the latter. advertisers, celebrities, and travel industry types. “It was a big deal taking the event out A 40-foot LED screen leading up to the venue of New York,” said Traveler brand developand a red carpet populated by Gavin Rossdale ment director Alicia Barone. “It required a (who performed an acoustic set later lot of planning. We started Conde Nast Traveler in the evening) and Gwen Stefani, conversations around late Hot List Party Kate Beckinsale, Chris Evans, and November and ﬂew out for others set the scene. As they entered DJ DJ Jesse Marco three site visits. But thanks to Decor, Lighting, Models, Haze, guests received a passport Aria’s excellent staff and the PR, Sound, Staging MGM to be stamped at ﬁve international fact that we were able to use Mirage Events stations by models dressed in each MGM’s production company, PR, Red Carpet Fingerprint Communications country’s garb. There was a prize to there were very few chalSecurity Aria Resort & be won at each, with the ultimate lenges. It was a group effort on Casino win a $15,000 trip to Thailand. all fronts, most of the time by Servers, Venue Haze Inside, guests toasted half a dozphone.” —Bobbie Katz
PHOTOS: KELLY CREATIVE
Guests got passports stamped at various stations around the party space.
Our room really has a view At 1,000 feet, our event venue is an all time high! Sip on cocktails with 20 – 600 of your closest friends, enjoy a seated dinner or immerse yourself in 360° views, with a complimentary multimedia SkyTour. Call us for a cozy private event space, or book the entire Observatory...and take over.
Andrew Apa Marketing & Events Coordinator P: 312.654.5021 F: 312.751.3675 E: email@example.com W: www.hancockobservatory.com 360° Views of 4 States
Free Multimedia Tour
Espression by Lavazza café
As such, Heffernan Morgan handled the evening’s decor, providing everything from illuminated pink bars to ﬂower-ﬂecked sweetheart tables that surroundThe CS Brides’ Showcase lured readers ed the runway. The company also with champagne and a Vera Wang show. decorated tables for a room that showcased tabletop trends, and designed bridal bouquets for a “See? This is why I chose you to be CHICAGO my bridesmaids,” a guest gushed display area near the champagne bar. Frost designed the lighting, to friends on March 25 at CS Brides’ “Evening of which included pink rose-shaped Bridal Luxury.” The 450-guest crowd was heavy gobos that covered the ceiling of on groups of girlfriends, mother-daughter duos, Heffernan Morgan designer Nikki Lee created three tabletop and well-known brides-to-be such as Bachelorette the entrance. Fig produced a short arrangements for a room that showcased design trends. fashion ﬁlm that aired in the star Jillian Harris. In addition to plenty of female ballroom before the runway show, bonding, the event at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago and designed a custom logo and photo reel that Young models showcased included food stations slinging everything from showcased each of the evening’s sponsors. ﬂower girl dresses from savory crepes to chocolate-ﬁlled cupcakes and a “As to not exclude any partner of ours, we Vera Wang Chicago. fully produced fashion show that highlighted the also provide each of our advertisers with the Vera Wang 2010 bridal collection. opportunity to contribute to our Samantha Saifer, director of marOscar-style swag bags from Baketing at parent company Modern CS Brides’ Evening of gable Gifts,” and co-sponsored by Luxury Media, oversaw planning efBridal Luxury Elizabeth Grace, Saifer said. Guests forts with publisher Amy Allen. “The Audiovisual Production, left with loots of everything from purpose of our signature events for DJ, Photography, Video beauty products to discount cards bridal, and our signature events for all Fig Media Catering, Linens, Venue and sweets, but the parting gift of our magazines, is to help provide Ritz-Carlton Chicago was not for everyone. “The guests our partners an extra added-value Decor, Flowers, Linens, that attend and who are not getopportunity to reach out to our CS Signage, Staging ting married always seem to want readers,” Saifer said. “For this event, Heffernan Morgan Inc. Gifts Bagable Gifts, a gift bag,” Saifer said. “We have to we involve some of our biggest and Elizabeth Grace tell them the bags are for brides most well-known partners by includLighting, Runway Frost every year.” —Jenny Berg ing them in the actual production.”
PHOTOS: FIG MEDIA
House Race The White House Correspondents’ after-parties competed with A-listers and self-serve s’mores. The competition for guests leaving the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner at the Hilton Washington on May 1—Washington’s biggest annual party night—saw a new contestant. MSNBC challenged the two major players of recent years, the Bloomberg/Vanity Fair party and the bash thrown by Niche Media’s Capitol File, with a large, lavish event that offered a big spread of comfort food and the evening’s only musical performance. All three used their distinct charms to lure black-tie guests from the political, media, and entertainment folks in town: intimate exclusivity (Bloomberg/Vanity Fair), raucous fun (Capitol File), and curiosity about the newcomer (MSNBC). Bloomberg’s longtime party presence and Vanity Fair’s star power retained their event’s status as the evening’s toughest ticket. A-list political ﬁgures like White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel mingled with Hollywood heavyweights like Morgan Freeman in the sprawling residence of the French ambassador. The Vanity Fair team lit the trees on the grounds in green, blue, and orange, and put out pillows printed with humorous political quotes. Meanwhile, MSNBC made its own big statement with roving Bloomberg/Vanity spotlights and a tented table for 20 Fair White House check-in staffers at the entrance to Correspondents’ the Mellon Auditorium. Four bars Association Dinner ﬂanked a checkerboard dance ﬂoor, After-Party while Rachel Maddow manned Catering Design Cuisine another bar named for her. At the Caterers other end of the vast room, KC and MSNBC Party the Sunshine Band took the stage. Producer Phillip Dufour and Eric Catering Occasions Caterers Michaels from Occasions Caterers Decor A Vista Events made sure there was plenty of Flowers Jack H. Lucky Floral homey food circulating the party. Design Capitol File’s ﬁfth annual afterLighting Atmosphere Lighting party doubled as an 85th anniverProduction Dufour & Co sary celebration for the Renaissance Rentals Perfect Settings Mayﬂower Hotel, which underwrote L.L.C. the festivities and brought in New Security The Bilyeu Group LLC York-based Tony Berger of Relevent to Transportation Carey produce. On the hotel’s ﬁrst ﬂoor, a Limousine tiny lounge allowed guests to check Valet Atlantic Services out R Life, the hotel brand’s blog, and Group Venue Andrew W. Mellon tables were piled high with sweets Auditorium from Edward Marc Chocolatier. But the main action was in the Capitol File Party grand ballroom, where DJ Cassidy Catering, Security, Valet, spun an upbeat mix for an expected Venue Renaissance 1,600 people that had the likes Mayﬂower Hotel Decor, Production Relevent of Desirée Rogers—the recently Group LLC departed White House social secreDJ DJ Cassidy tary, and a co-host of the party last Lighting AG Light and year—dancing in the V.I.P. area on Sound Inc. the mezzanine. —Chad Kaydo
Rachel Maddow made three specialty cocktails at her own bar at the MSNBC party.
At MSNBC’s after-party, Occasions Caterers served a large array of casual food options, including selfserve s’mores.
Occasions served push-up ice cream pops from glowing trays.
At the Bloomberg/Vanity Fair party, guests including Anna Kendrick and Rosario Dawson lounged among political pillows. The Capitol File party took over the grand ballroom at the Renaissance Mayﬂower.
ON BIZBASH.COM More photos from the White House Correspondents Association dinner weekend events
PHOTOS: RODNEY CHOICE (CAPITOL FILE) DIMITRIOS KAMBOURIS/VF1/WIREIMAGE(VANITY FAIR), TONY BROWN/IMIJINATION PHOTGRAPHY FOR BIZBASH (MSNBC)
Banners promoting MSNBC’s shows and personalities hung between columns inside the Mellon.
Lounge areas had white leather furniture, gray accent pillows, and simple ﬂower arrangements in shiny black vases.
Nike turned a bank into a temporary speakeasy to celebrate its Chicago pop-up shop.
High-end sneaker boutique St. Alfred partnered with Nike in April to open Six Points. Cindy Hamilton, a Chicago-based spokesperson for Nike, described the Milwaukee Avenue venue as a “retail collaborative space” that would host events throughout the summer. On April 30, the brands celebrated the opening of the pop-up space with a cocktail party for 80 guests, tapping Experient to produce the intimate soiree. On the same day as the event, Hamilton said, “Nike had unveiled the home kits for several countries, including the United States, that will play in the World Cup this summer. So another At the end of the night, a dessert goal for the event was reception took place in the vault. to showcase those de-
PHOTOS: JOSH SEARS
Lock and Key
signs.” Because the company keeps the designs of the uniforms “under lock and key until they are launched,” Hamilton said, planners decided to “play off that secrecy and intrigue” by hosting a speakeasy-theme event in the vault of an abandoned bank. Mailed invitations included numbered safedeposit-box keys, which guests presented for admission to the bank. Models wearing 1920s-style makeup and hairdos posed as bank tellers, and presented some guests with locked silver metal briefcases. One by one, guests were escorted into the vault, where they used their keys to open safe deposit boxes. Inside, they found cards printed with access codes that would help them unlock their suitcases, which each held custom jerseys. While they waited for their turn in the vault, partygoers lounged in a basement room that Event Creative decked Nike’s Six Points with mirrored tables, Speakeasy crystal chandeliers, Audiovisual Production, and lounge areas Decor, Draping, Flowers, ﬁlled with white Furniture Rentals, leather furniture. At Lighting, Sound Event the end of the night, Creative the vault reopened for Catering Blue Plate DJ Flosstradamus a dessert reception Photography Stephen where Blue Plate servGreen Photography ers circulated with Design, Event Management, Invitations, mini lemon meringue Models, Printing, pies and chocolate Production, Signage, molten cake bites. Stafﬁng, Experient LLC —Jenny Berg
EXPO & AWARDS Chicago / Merchandise Mart / August 19, 2010
Register Now bizbashchicagoexpo.com
Your Event Canvas Is Always Changing From the long-time curators of the innovative and outrageous, you’re invited to attend the BizBash Expo with an open mind— and open canvas. With the ideal environment for networking, dynamic education sessions, keynotes from the best in the business, and a fully loaded show ﬂoor, you’ll walk away ﬁred up and ready to create incredible events in the coming year.
TOP INDUSTRY SPEAKERS
AUTHOR, “HOW TO HAVE A GREAT DAY EVERYDAY”
VICE PRESIDENT OF DESIGN SALES, HEFFERNAN MORGAN
EDITOR IN CHIEF, BIZBASH MEDIA
EVP PUBLIC CO-OWNER, THE RELATIONS, MEETINGHOUSE XA, THE COMPANIES EXPERIENTIAL AGENCY
REGISTER TODAY AT BIZBASHCHICAGOEXPO.COM Use code BBPRINT & save $10
This Must-Attend Expo Is Unlike Any Youâ€™ve Ever Experienced Who should attend the BizBash Expo? Event and meeting professionals, corporate planners, PR and marketing professionals, and third-party planners ready to gather, learn, and network in one spectacular day.
2010 BIZBASH HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES The BizBash Hall of Fame celebrates professionals who have made major contributions to the events industryâ€™s growth through their vision and leadership.
What sets BizBash Expo apart from the rest? BizBash Expo is a unique opportunity for planners to be inspired by a show ďŹ‚oor loaded with fresh local ideas and the hottest products, incredible entertainment, education from expert speakers on how to navigate challenges and excel, and to connect with more than 1,000 Midwest planners.
DIRECTOR, CORPORATE EVENTS & TRAVEL TRUE VALUE COMPANY
DIRECTOR, DISTINGUISHED EVENTS AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY, ILLINOIS DIVISION, INC.
FRANK MAUGIERI, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR AND ACCEPTOR ON BEHALF OF REDMOON THEATER
EVENT STYLE AWARDS
These ďŹ ve invaluable sessions give you access to expert leaders in the event and meeting planning industry who will show you innovative ways to plan and execute stylish and successful events. To register for the conference program and view the full Expo schedule, visit bizbashchicagoexpo.com.
Come applaud the Event Style Award winners for 2010!
Getting Ahead in Business: Straight Talk from Top Female Executives
9:15 â€“ 10 A.M.
8:15 â€“ 9 A.M.
Female business executives share whatâ€™s needed to make it in the business. Hear the presenters discuss how to deďŹ ne strategy, manage conďŹ‚ict, and handle difďŹ cult situations to put you on the career path to success.
Demystifying RFIs, RFPs, and the Proposal to Win Business Hear from a panel of experts as they uncover the mysteries behind great proposal writing. Learn how to decipher proposals to avoid surprises down the road. Youâ€™ll leave this session with greater conďŹ dence to tackle your next RFI, RFP, or proposal.
Are You Ready for The New Globally Accepted Meeting and Event Standards? Explore the competencies, knowledge, and skills used to deďŹ ne a meeting and event professional from beginner to expert, plus get a sneak peak at the new AP EX Green Standards and the International Event Management Standards.
Find out who will take home the coveted awards this year.
Donâ€™t Let This Happen to You: War Stories From Event Veterans
Main Stage, 5 P.M. to 5:45 P.M. Cocktail reception following the Event Style Awards in the registration lobby.
Hear unbelievable real stories from the front lines about event disasters and how they were averted in the ďŹ eld. Learn from their experiences.
Catering Trends: A Comprehensive View of Current Trends in the Event Industry This session will cover everything about the latest catering trends, including menu design, creative themes, service, beverages, and adding those special touches that are even more important in the current economy.
* All sessions and speakers subject to change. Expo Sponsors as of 7.19.10
EXCITING ENTERTAINMENT Q Quick Change is just one of sseveral acts who will excite w a and enthrall a all day, with ttheir incredible performance of split second costume changes that landed them a spot as ďŹ nalist on â€œAmericaâ€™s Got Talent.â€? To view the full Expo schedule and register, visit bizbashchicagoexpo.com
FOR GENERAL QUESTIONS, CONTACT: 646.839.6831
rockit ranch productions elevate your entertaining Four stylized venues. Inventine, savory cuisine. Impressive entertainment. Call to learn about our restaurants and nightclub for your next private and non-private events for 20-500 guests.
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ENTIRE LOUNGE Up to 300 guests FRONT & SIDE LOUNGE Up to 100 guests POOL LOUNGE Up to 50 guests HALF POOL LOUNGE Up to 25 guests WRIGLEYVILLE
MAP AREA Up to 40 guests
BANQUET STYLE 21 to 100 guests RECEPTION 25 to 150 guests DINING ROOM VERANDA Up to 28 guests COMMUNAL TABLES 14 to 28 guests
SERVICES In-house Catering Buffet Lunch and Dinner Themed Stations Passed Cuisine Mixology Entertainment Photo Booth Live Music Karaoke
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PHOTOS: JUAN CARLOS BRICENO/FOTOBRICENO(HARGROVE), COURTESY OF FIREFLY LA, ALLAN ZEPEDA(IAC), HENRY LIN (REGENT PARK)
Combining elements of Christmas and Hanukkah, Toronto’s Regent Park School of Music staged a Chrismukkah beneﬁt with a modern winter look. McNabb Roick (416.703.1000, mcnabbroickevents.com) hung oversize snowﬂakes, stars, and icicles while Westbury National Show Systems (416.752.1371, westbury.com) lit the room in shades of blue and purple.
End-of-the-year gatherings haven’t been a top priority over the past few years, but they are still an important way to show appreciation. Here are ideas from real holiday parties and the people who plan them. By LISA CERICOLA
Hargrove Inc. (301.306.9000, hargroveinc.com) transformed the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s H Street headquarters into a rustic ski lodge complete with a 20- by 30-foot faux stone ﬁreplace, a lifelike stuffed moose head, six-foot-tall wooden reindeer, and a massive Christmas tree.
STEAL TH IS I D EA
Large-scale projections brought a winter setting to sunny Los Angeles for DirecTV’s annual holiday party. Fireﬂy LA (323.571.1447, ﬁreﬂyla.com) and the Hand Company (818.843.2402, thehandcompany.com) projected snow-covered forests, icicles, and other scenes onto a 120- by 140-foot tent on DirecTV’s campus.
New York-based Internet company IAC hired Frank Alexander (212.677.5176, frankalexandernyc.com) to capture the Viceroy Santa Monica’s sophisticated cabanas with green and white rentals from Taylor Creative Inc. (888.245.4044, taylorcreativeinc. com) and colorful, arty lighting by Glow Design Group (646.201.9557, glowdesigngroup.com).
“When decorating a conference room, make the table the central focus by creating a runner installation. Use white plush fabric adorned with white and silver ornaments. Incorporate height by propping white feather mini trees on either side of the table, which can be adorned with a touch of red. If the ofﬁce has glass windows, you can create a bigger statement by designing holiday graphics that frame your table-runner installation.” Shai Tertner, president, Shiraz Events, New York and Miami (212.255.7001, shirazevents.com)
bizbash.com summer 2010 45
Employees of Astellas Pharma U.S. Inc. teamed up with Total Event Resources (847.397.2200, total-event.com) to celebrate the season by building 48 bicycles for children from Chicago Youth Centers, a local nonproﬁt organization. About 40 kids showed up at the end of the event to surprise the company’s staffers, who then surprised them with their new bikes.
Activities Instead of a single evening of festivities, Minnetonka, Minnesota-based Carlson Companies held 12 days of events. Activities included an employee-cooked progressive meal that took place over several ﬂoors and an ofﬁce-wide scavenger hunt with clues via e-mail throughout the day. Prizes included an iPod Touch, a Sleep Number bed, and box seats at a Bon Jovi concert.
Joffrey Ballet’s Nutcracker family dinner in Chicago had kid-friendly touches including apple cider and Sprite cocktails, strolling magicians, and an activity station with a branded Lego tower provided by “brick artist” Beth Weis (847.494.5346, bethweis.com).
STEAL TH IS I D EA
“We hired My Party Impressions (416.963.8302, mypartyimpressions.com) to provide a ﬂip book station, which was a huge hit at the event. The guests had a blast creating their own unique scenes, and it was a great take-home for them as well.”
STEAL TH IS I D EA
“Last year we were on a tight budget, so we hired Precision Event Group (310.285.0420, precisionus.com) to turn one of our parking lots into a dance club complete with DJ—who was spinning from above the crowd on an industrial staircase—and, of course, a disco ball. Our employees loved it.” Pam Byrne, executive director, studio services, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Los Angeles
46 bizbash.com summer 2010
At a holiday-themed event to celebrate the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Event Architects (888.365.4511, event-architects. com) brought in a pair of professional ice skaters who performed on an elevated skating rink.
The South Floridabased Ofﬁce Depot Foundation held a holiday party with a tropical theme. Boca By Design (561.447.3349, bocabydesign. com) brought in live ﬂamingos, parrots, and other creatures from Rainforest Aviaries and Gardens (305.246.5930) and Jesse Williams Ranch (305.238.5437, jessewilliamsranch.com) for photo ops and atmosphere.
PHOTOS: PAUL STEVEN PHOTOGRAPHY (OFFICE DEPOT), COURTESY OF CARLSON, MATTHEW KAPLAN PHOTOGRAPHY (ASTELLAS), ERIC CRAIG FOR BIZBASH (JOFFREY), RICK AGUILAR STUDIOS (CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL), COURTESY OF PRECISION EVENT GROUP, BIZBASH (HIGH ROAD)
Laura Bryce, account executive, High Road Communications, Toronto
PHOTOS: JEROME ENO FOR BIZBASH (STYLE BOSTON), VICTORIA JACOB (URBANDADDY), MIREYA ACIERTO FOR BIZBASH (CHOCOLATE), COURTESY OF BLUE PLATE, NIKKI LEIGH MCKEAN FOR BIZBASH (CAPITOL C), COURTESY OF EATERTAINMENT
At a holiday party hosted by Style Boston and Boston Magazine, the Catered Affair (781.982.9333, thecateredaffair.com) served tuna tartare with wasabi aioli on a tray accented with wheatgrass and peppers—traditional Christmas colors on unexpected objects.
Food & Drinks STEAL TH IS I DEA
Online magazine UrbanDaddy held a holiday party for its New York readers with a dessert bar piled high with macaroons, cakes, and other sweets from several local bakeries.
STEAL TH IS I D EA “It’s back to basics: comfort food with an air of sophistication for our clients this year. Gourmet grilled cheese is in high demand. We serve spicy Genoa salami and aged cheddar with tomato and green apple and Brie with crushed walnuts and watercress.” Sebastien Centner, director, Eatertainment Special Events and Catering, Toronto (416.964.1162, eatertainment.com) Match Restaurant (905.850.5699, matchyyz. com) created a menu inspired by fairy tales and 1960s op art, the theme of Torontobased marketing agency Capital C’s party. Psychedelic trays held chicken dipped in gooseberry-plum sauce.
At the AIDS Foundation of Chicago’s holidaythemed World of Chocolate event, guests sipped vanilla- and cinnamon-spiced hot chocolate from mini pipettes by the Signature Room at the 95th (312.787.9596, signatureroom.com).
“It’s the return of the specialty cocktail. We don’t foresee clients returning to the luxury bar packages, but rather sticking with beer, wine, and soda, with a specialty drink added for creativity and variety.” Loren Johnson, sales consultant, Blue Plate Catering, Chicago (312.421.6666, blueplatechicago.com)
Capital C’s event also had seasonal cocktails like Santa’s Beard (white chocolate liqueur, half and half, a hint of peppermint, and crushed candy canes).
Blue Plate’s Red Sombrero incorporates tequila, Sprite, pink grapefruit juice, kumquats, and pomegranate seeds.
bizbash.com summer 2010 47
The New Reality These days event strategists are facing an evolving set of expectations, from tighter budgets to an increased respect for the power of face-to-face gatherings. To gauge the ramiﬁcations of the changes, we surveyed a group of BizBash readers—including in-house and independent planners—about how they’re working through these challenging times. Here’s a look at their responses.
RESPONDENT PROFILE (In-house planners)
Tenure Less than one year 0.2% More than 20 years 14.6%
Events and Meetings 68.4%
Finance/Procurement 0.5% Human Resources/Training 1% Owner 1%
11-20 years 29.4%
1-5 years 27.5%
6-10 years 28.2%
Marketing/ PR/Sales 15.6%
Events/Meetings Planned Per Year
More than 200 3.6% $50,000 $100,000 12.6%
Fewer than 6 20.4%
Less than $50,000 8.5%
$100,001 $250,000 15.3%
More than $1,000,000 31.1%
$250,0001 $500,000 16.0% $500,001 $1,000,000 16.5%
Methodology: The survey of BizBash subscribers was conducted online in conjunction with Finch Brands, from March 15 to March 26, 2010. Of the 843 respondents who completed the survey, 48.9 percent were in-house event/meeting planners, 28.1 percent were event/meeting planners at independent ﬁrms, and 23 percent were event vendors.
bizbash.com summer 2010 49
THE NEW REALITY Budgets Are the Big Challenge Staff layoffs and departmental changes 14.1%
What’s the most difﬁcult part of your job today?
Greater ﬁnancial scrutiny 13.6%
Shorter lead times 11.4%
Shrinking budgets 36.0%
(In-house planners) Less organizational support 8.5% Greater process complexity 5.1%
Staying on top of the industry 7.3%
Budgets Are Down, Pressure Is Up To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements about event planning today as compared to two years ago? (All planners) 5=Strongly agree, 0= Strongly disagree
t re ed to as ic cu rce lcu ssu ish ca y ult ou en g h ateg e n c s r i e e n t l ﬁ i p b b te str dif ees w ou ever nn re dim to a ve as ha ds ccur mo ults t pla more ore tend h e no an s s t i e m s n a e e is ct at We re th im ere w re Eve ome O.I . n ore t dg t I h u a c r T sho B R. ed m Lead mo be att to lat
Events Are Expected to Drive Business
How are events used as a part of your organization’s overall marketing strategy? (In-house planners)
o t ke nd gt nts lly y ou ve na ma tive nin ips ica eg ab e i o i o l s s a c t t r yp strat h t a i e t u r l s e s s n s i s e t a d t o s u ion ion nt no ing e u sale even e pro ati te cq t e lat tiv ula l r r a erat cat late are rket a o e o en fy re u i s n l n a d t m M sti m e u C idi e er s m m en l sto d g to tim Int rker Ev rt of to so Cu man ng to s o i a n w p i ts de Tra duc pro
50 bizbash.com summer 2010
THE VENDOR SELECTION PROCESS Planners Re-evaluate Vendors Regularly…
How often do you re-evaluate the following types of vendors each time you plan an event? (All planners)
68.7% 68.2% 68.1%
63.4% 63.4% 62.5%
e nu Ve
r g g nt nt ns on ng co ing tin fﬁn tio cti hti me me De a ter a u e g l / n t a i i Ten d g e S n L C a o a R g t r n c P si ter bli al De Ma En Pu isu nt v e o Ev di Au
…But Not Formally 76%-100%
What percentage of the time do you issue R.F.P.s to vendors for events with more than 100 attendees?
(All planners) 26%-50%
Planners Consider Many Factors
How important are the following factors when selecting vendors for your events and meetings? (In-house planners) 5=Very important, 0= Not important at all
st es nt ed lty on ers list ors ces ion Co cti fer me venu nn nd pecia servi nt f tat e e e a e o u l i p v f p s n cl ag ns rp er of or n o lutio l re man r’s ei pe the oth end tio do sit o o era o f a l c n h s n o c V t s ca Ve of Lo ge se rom ll wi nd ysi Ea r’s ity kf ea Ph we g do ac tiv a b n n k a d or Ve Cre dr Fee to w oa r y B ilit Ab
bizbash.com summer 2010 51
PHOTO: COURTESY OF ELYSIAN HOTELS
The Chicago Venue Report In the past year, new venues have opened throughout the city and suburbs, providing a variety of fresh spots in which to meet, lounge, or—should your guests need some pampering—get a massage. Whether you’re looking for a restaurant that can host Japanese dinners for 25 or a raw venue with a 1,000-guest capacity, this guide gives the lowdown on venues to consider for your next event. By JENNY BERG
OPULENT OFFERINGS About a 10-minute cab ride from the Loop, the Elysian opened in the Gold Coast in December. The luxury hotel has two restaurants, Balsan and Ria, each with its own private dining room. Additional function spaces include the Sinclair Ballroom, which can host receptions for 270; the Fitzgerald Boardroom, which can accommodate meetings for 12; and the Hemingway Salon, which can hold receptions for 100 or meetings for 36. The property also houses 188 guest rooms and a 14,000-squarefoot health club and spa. (11 East Walton St., 312.646.1300)
ON BIZBASH.COM The latest venue news, plus our comprehensive directory
bizbash.com summer 2010 53
The Chicago Venue Report
JUST FOR SHOW Near major expo centers, these new venues are ideally located for off-site events and afterparties. Here’s where to host …
800. Amenities will include a parking lot, a new kitchen, and elevators with built-in bars. Taste America will be the exclusive beverage provider, and can arrange for catering from Lettuce Entertain You restaurants such as Tru and Ben Pao. Hosts are also welcome to bring in vendors of their choosing. (1200 West 35th St., 312.644.0606)
An Art Show for 50 Less than three miles from McCormick Place, Three Peas Art Lounge opened in the South Loop last April. The venue houses a café, a lounge, and a 1,100-square-foot art gallery that can host receptions for 50. Rental fees include a bartending staff, and hosts can select caterers from a preferred list that includes Stefani and Michael’s. (75 East 16th St., 312.624.9414)
Dinner for 800 Slated to open in October, the Bridgeport Arts Gallery is a 10-minute car ride from McCormick Place. The 18,000-squarefoot space will host seated dinners for more than
An Intimate Cocktail Party Across the street from the Merchandise Mart, American restaurant Gilt Bar opened in February and unveiled its lower-level cocktail lounge in May. Decked with candles, antique mirrors, and tufted leather sofas, the underground space can host private events for 50. The drink list offers throwback options like punch bowls and Hemingway daiquiris. (230 West Kinzie St., 312.464.9544) A PowerPoint Presentation A ﬁveminute walk from the Merchandise Mart, Epic
Gilt Bar opened in December. In a former mill building, the contemporary American restaurant has several areas that can host events, including a mezzanine with seating for 50 and a 58-inch TV that can hook up to laptops or DVD players. Also available for buyout, the sprawling venue can host cocktail receptions for 600. (112 West Hubbard St., 312.222.4940)
Two new spaces are easily brand-able and can be built out to meet an event’s specs. Local production company Event Creative owns Venue One (1044 West Randolph St., 312.327.0111) in the West Loop. The event space hosted its ﬁrst function—a beneﬁt for the Museum of Contemporary Art—in May. With views of the downtown skyline, the venue has three levels, each with 12,000 square feet of raw space. The second ﬂoor can seat 500 with a dance ﬂoor and a stage, and the ﬁrst ﬂoor can seat 400 with a similar layout. The entire venue can be bought out to host receptions for 1,000. Preferred caterers include Limelight, while Event Creative handles production and decor. Last September, special event space Logan Square Kitchen (2333 North Milwaukee Ave.,
54 bizbash.com summer 2010
Logan Square Kitchen 773.342.2333) opened in a 1913 building in its eponymous neighborhood. The LEED-certiﬁed space features exposed brick walls and eggplanthued drapes. A shared-use commercial kitchen, stocked restaurant-style appliances, and a walk-in cooler allow chefs to cook on site. The venue can host dinners for 75 and receptions for 100.
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF EPIC, BIZBASH (GILT BAR), JOSH SEARS (VENUE ONE), INGRID BONNE/BEST FRIEND PHOTOGRAPHY (LOGAN SQUARE KITCHEN)
PHOTOS: BIZBASH (NELLA PIZZERIA NAPOLETANA), TYLLIE BARBOSA (DOUBLE A), STEVEN JOHNSON PHOTOGRAPHY (IZAKAYA HAPA), COURTESY OF THE EXCHANGE
Nella Pizzeria Napoletana
Hot Plates Chicago attracts international foodies all year long, and these six restaurants are on top of the city’s latest culinary trends. Gourmet Pizza With the tagline “serious brick-oven pizza,” Pizzeria Serio (1708 West Belmont Ave., 773.525.0600) came to Lakeview in late April. An 800-degree oven cooks up specialty pies, which come with toppings like fresh mozzarella and sopressata salami. Exposed brick walls, lofty ceilings, and metal ductwork lend a laidback vibe to the space, which seats 125. Upstairs, a private party room can host dinners or receptions for 50. Lincoln Park’s Nella Pizzeria Napoletana (2423 North Clark St., 773.327.3400) opened in November. A 12,000-pound oven—built with volcanic bricks that the owners had imported from Mount Vesuvius—churns out authentic Neapolitan pizzas. A glass-enclosed party room
The Exchange can be conﬁgured to seat groups of 24 or 36, and the chef also prepares family-style pastas and antipasti dishes.
with ingredients that include egg whites and torched thyme. Bottle service comes with an unusual roster of mixers such as strawberries and vanilla sugar.
Handcrafted Cocktails Cozy cocktail lounge the Exchange (1270 North Milwaukee Ave., 773.342.5282) sprang up in Wicker Park in late January. Outﬁtted with patterned wallpaper, banquette seating, and hanging light ﬁxtures, the space is available for full buyout and can host receptions for 99. Craft cocktails like orange bitters punch come in vintage crystal bowls and serve four to six guests. Other options include the “Swimming in It,” a blend of gin, chamomile tea, honey syrup, sparkling wine, and lemon and tangerine juices. On the lower level of River North’s Mercadito restaurant, Double A (108 West Kinzie St., 312.329.9555) opened in November. With dark wood paneling, a DJ booth, and brown leather banquettes, the intimate lounge can host receptions for 60. Mixologists work at an exposed cocktail station, whipping up specialty drinks
Izakayas (Japanese Pubs) Offering Japanese small plates and an extensive cocktail list, Izakaya Hapa (58 East Ontario St., 312.202.0808) opened just off the Magniﬁcent Mile in late January. Furbished with unﬁnished barn wood and oversize photos of Asian street markets, the second-ﬂoor lounge seats 20 to 35 in its private dining area. Amenities include Wi-Fi and 42-inch TVs. Chizakaya (3056 North Lincoln Ave., 773.477.6400) was slated to open in Lakeview in July. Chef and owner Harold Jurado, formerly of Japonais and Charlie Trotter’s, prepares small plates with local ingredients, such as his sashimi made with Dietzler Farms calf’s liver. The venue features an exposed kitchen, blond wood tables, and murals of geishas and cherry-blossom trees. A private back room holds 25.
bizbash.com summer 2010 55
The Chicago Venue Report Benny’s Chop House
Gold Class Cinemas
These venues can screen videos, broadcast PowerPoint presentations, or host live performances.
The venue’s eight 40-seat theaters can be rented individually or combined to host larger groups. Within each theater, hosts can present current feature ﬁlms or corporate videos. Servers deliver restaurant-style entrées to recliners with built-in tabletops and can also provide passed appetizers In June, Mayne Stage (1328 West Morse Ave., and bottles of wine and champagne. The entire 773.381.4554) opened in the site of a former structure is available for buyout and can hold 288. vaudeville theater in Rogers Park. Available for A Lincoln Park location of Small Bar (1415 buyout, the venue has a 299-seat auditorium West Fullerton Ave., 773.525.2727) opened in with cinema and broadcasting capabilities. For private events, an on-site talent booker can bring February. In a former pool hall, the venue has in comedians, musicians, or psychics. An adjacent an upper-level room that seats 35 and can host receptions for 50. Referred to as “the Mezz,” the eatery, the Act One Café, serves internationally space holds two 44-inch TVs that hook up to inﬂuenced comfort food, and can seat 80 for laptops and DVD players. The menu offers hearty private dinners. Gold Class Cinemas (619 East Boughton Road, bar fare such as pulled-pork and cheeseburgers with brie, and the bar pours more than 100 kinds Bolingbrook, 630.378.8034) opened a new location at the Promenade Bolingbrook in November. of beer.
Take it Outside
as a breakfast-and-lunch spot. In June, the organic restaurant added a 40-seat sidewalk Alfresco venues aren’t just for summer. Here are café that can be booked for private events. Seasonal menu options may include jumbo three spaces to check out. lump crab salad, homemade falafel wraps, and buckwheat crepes stuffed with veggies and Early this year, the Dana Hotel introduced preserved lemon cream. its Ice Bar, which will now be open every Perched on the rooftop of River North’s year from January until early March. On the Epic hotel, Epic Sky (112 West Hubbard St., patio of Vertigo Lounge (660 North State St., 312.202.6060), Ice Bar has a 10-foot bar made of 312.222.4940) opened in May. Outﬁtted with cabanas, a 28-foot bar, and lounge seating, 3,000 pounds of solid ice, and can host recepthe space seats 93 and can be rented out for tions for 75. Along with a crystal-ﬁlled ﬁre pit private events. A specialty cocktail list includes and numerous heat lamps, velour robes and the White Rabbit, made with orange vodka faux fur blankets are on hand to keep guests and carrot juice, and a special menu of lounge warm. Spiked snow cones, hot specialty cocksnacks is in the works. In the meantime, hosts tails, and sushi are all on the menu. can order passed hors d’oeuvres or plated Near Cellular Field, Nana (3267 South Halsted St., 312.929.2486) opened last summer meals off the restaurant’s standard menus.
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Two new steak houses are providing classic settings for business dinners (or two-martini lunches). Benny’s Chop House (444 North Wabash Ave., 312.626.2444) opened in River North in April. The restaurant dishes out U.S.D.A. prime steaks, oysters, and pasta. A former Alinea sommelier presides over the 450-bottle wine list, and a rolling champagne cart allows for tableside drink service. A front bar area can host receptions for 100, and the main dining room seats 180. In back, a private dining room with wireless Internet and a ﬂat-screen TV can seat 40 to 50. Gibson’s Bar & Steakhouse (2150 Spring Road, Oakbrook, 630.954.0000) opened an Oakbrook location in June. The restaurant, which serves steaks, daily seafood specials, and oversize martinis, has a patio that seats 180. Decked with ﬁre pits and waterfalls, the space can be booked for private functions. Inside, a large private dining room seats 100 and can host receptions for 175. The room has four 50-inch ﬂat-screen TVs, which can be used for PowerPoint presentations.
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF GOLD CLASS CINEMAS, DLM PHOTOGRAPHY/COURESY OF SMALL BAR, BIZBASH (BENNY’S CHOP HOUSE), COURTESY OF NANA
MEAT AND GREET
Hotel Palomar Chicago
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF CUVEE, COURTESY OF TEMPLE BAR, COURTESY OF CEDAR HOTEL, COURTESY OF KIMPTON HOTELS (HOTEL PALOMAR CHICAGO); RENDERING: COURTESY OF POPULOUS (TINLEY PARK CONVENTION CENTER)
The downtown business district is now home to two hotels with ample space for meetings. Hotel Palomar Chicago (505 North State St., 312.755.9703) opened in River North in March. The boutique hotel houses 261 rooms, each equipped with free high-speed Internet access. Some 5,800 square feet of event space includes a 2,555-square-foot ballroom, and the hotel can host meetings for 160 or receptions for 300. For overnight guests, perks include an enclosed rooftop pool and in-room spa services. In September, Chicago’s ﬁrst JW Marriott (151 West Adams St., 312.660.8200) will open inside a DanielBurnham-designed bank building in the Loop. The venue will offer 609 guest rooms, a 20,000-square-foot spa, and a ﬁne dining restaurant. Some 44,000 square feet of event space will include two ballrooms and more than 30 breakout rooms. Green meeting packages will be available.
Night Shift Here’s a look at four new party spots, each offering a distinct theme.
A CONVENTION CENTER UPGRADE In April, the Tinley Park Convention Center broke ground on a $19 million renovation that will double its current size by May 2011. The overhaul will add 24,000 square feet of clearspan exhibit space and 9,000 square feet of meeting space. New amenities will include a built-in concession stand, Wi-Fi, additional loading docks, a full-service business center, and an additional 450 parking spots. (18500 South Harlem Ave., 708.444.1100)
Cuvee (308 West Erie St., 847.691.3947), a 5,000square-foot lounge in River North, opened in late September. With bubble-inspired decor, the champagne-themed venue can be bought out for groups of 400, and there are semiprivate areas available for smaller groups. A variety of champagne cocktails are available, and on-site event planners can arrange for catering through Jordan’s Food of Distinction. Hosts are also welcome to bring in their own suppliers. From the owners of Manor and RiNo, the Cedar Hotel (1112 North State St., 312.944.1112) nightclub opened on the Gold Coast last August. With an American menu that offers lobster-salad sliders, salmon burgers, and skirt-steak skewers, the bar has a drink list ﬁlled with thematic cock-
tails such as the Secret Rendezvous sangria and the Chamber Maid’s Cherry Limeaid. A patio ﬁlled with wicker furniture hosts receptions for 150, while the venue’s cedar-lined interior holds 99. Named after a neighborhood in Dublin, Temple Bar (3001 North Ashland Ave., 312.265.1133) opened in April. With an 18-foot bar, eight plasma TVs, and black-and-white photographs of British rockers, the pub is available for buyout and can host events for 120. Smaller sections can also be reserved. A menu of Irish fare includes chicken curry, Guinness beef stew, and ﬁsh and chips. Flights of whiskey headline the drink list. Beauty Bar (1444 West Chicago Ave., 312.226.8828), a cocktail lounge with a 1960sbeauty-parlor look, opened its ﬁrst Chicago location in March. Offering manicures and specialty martinis, the venue uses Logan Square’s Longman & Eagle restaurant as a preferred caterer. The West Town nightspot is available for full and partial buyout and has a total capacity of 350.
BARS & CLUBS
bizbash.com summer 2010 57
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