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PLUS: Sponsor Integrations, Holiday Party Bites, Stylish Stages, Twitter Skepticism, 24 New Venues, Planners’ Favorite Trends & More
PHOTOS: BARRY BRECHEISEN/WIREIMAGE (STAGE, JERRY SEINFELD), EDWARD M. PIO RODA/COURTESY OF TBS (MOBILE BILLBOARD), JEREMY FREEMAN/COURTESY OF TBS (DA BEARS MOVIE, MEXICAN WRESTLER)
During TBS’s ﬁve-day Just for Laughs comedy festival—where 100-plus comedians performed in 17 venues around the city and suburbs—Cedric the Entertainer presented his “Urban Circus” at the Chicago Theatre. The show included an appearance by Jerry Seinfeld. Mobile billboards and the theater’s marquee advertised the festival. Joe Montegna, George Wendt, and Robert Smigel performed “Da Bears Movie Dat Wasn’t” at the Park West. Lucha VaVoom, a show in which Mexican masked wrestlers perform acrobatic feats, also took place at the Park West. More photos and details are on BizBash.com.
CHICAGO Volume 3, Issue 3 Winter 2010–11 © 2010 BizBash Media On the Cover Clockwise from top left: A touch screen game at Samsung’s Vancouver Olympics pavilion, photo by Grant Harder for BizBash; a ﬂying machine at Red Bull’s 2010 Flugtag tour kickoff in Miami, photo courtesy of Red Bull; cellophane chandeliers at the Chicago Botanic Garden’s summer dance, photo by Tay Kaune; digital graﬁtti at the re-opening of Chanel’s SoHo New York store, photo courtesy of Tangible Interaction; a white neon installation at the opening party for the Hermès men’s store in New York, photo by Clint Spaulding/Patrick McMullan; an artistic interpretation of Lexus’s new hybrid car at the company’s Dark Side of Green environmental debate in Miami, photo by Red Eye Productions
FROM THE EDITORS Tracking the year’s trends READERS’ FORUM What was the best idea you saw in 2010?
THE SCOUT 13 Wintry curtains made of ice 14 Passed bites for holiday gatherings 16 Festive glasses and small plates for rent 18 What are clever ways to integrate trade show sponsors? 19 Innovative ideas for stage design 20 A new Chicago-based event design and production company 23 11 ideas and products to have on your radar VENUES 25 Four new Chicago venues EVENT REPORTS 28 Coast to Coast: HBO’s vintage Atlantic City-inspired Boardwalk Empire launch party 30 Lollapalooza’s bigger and better space, food, and sponsor activities 31 The Women’s Board of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago’s balloon-ﬁlled 50th anniversary bash 32 From Miami: Thrillist’s branded hotel and weekend getaway 34 The Botanic Garden beneﬁt’s modern revamp 35 The Loyola Founder’s Dinner’s fabric and lights 36 From Toronto: The ﬁlm festival’s opening-night hockey-themed party
38 Macy’s Glamorama fashion extravaganza 39 Hendrick’s old-timey bartender croquet tournament 40 From Los Angeles: The Lacma Resnick Pavilion’s dreamy debut 42 Green City Market’s 2,000-guest Chef’s Barbecue fund-raiser 43 From Boston: Mass General Hospital for Children’s Aladdinthemed Storybook Ball 45 Subway’s post-conference gala’s three fresh pavilions 47 From Washington: Glenn Beck’s 300,000-person Restoring Honor rally 51
Best of 2010 The top trends, ideas, designs, and events that shaped this year
THE DIRECTORY 70 New venues TED KRUCKEL 72 The limits of social media
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 winter 2010–11 3
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EDITOR IN CHIEF Chad Kaydo NEWS EDITOR Courtney Thompson STYLE EDITOR Lisa Cericola ASSOCIATE EDITOR Anna Sekula
CHICAGO EDITOR/BUREAU CHIEF Jenny Berg
LOS ANGELES EDITOR/BUREAU CHIEF Alesandra Dubin
MIAMI EDITOR/BUREAU CHIEF D. Channing Muller
ORLANDO EDITOR/BUREAU CHIEF Mitra Sorrells
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 Jeeyun Lee ASSISTANT PHOTO EDITOR Amber Knowles
COPY & RESEARCH ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR Claire Hoffman EDITORIAL INTERNS Caralyn Greif, Jessica Flores
RENAISSANCE SCHAUMBURG CONVENTION CENTER HOTEL 1551 North Thoreau, Schaumburg, IL 60173 t: 847.303.4100
WHERE BUSINESS MEETS CLASS. 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
CONTRIBUTORS EDITOR AT LARGE Ted Kruckel WRITER AT LARGE, LOS ANGELES Irene Lacher CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Michael O’Connell, Mimi O’Connor, Brendan Spiegel, Erin Souza, Ellen Sturm Niz CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Meryl Rothstein, Andi Teran LOS ANGELES: Rosalba Curiel, Shilpa Gopinath TORONTO: Amy Lazar, Erin Letson WASHINGTON: Adele Chapin, Walter Nicholls COPY EDITORS Libby Estell, Josh Wimmer CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Vincent Dillio, Roger Dong, Nick Ferrari, Emily Gilbert, Dan Hallman, John Minchillo, Alice and Chris Ross, Keith Sirchio BOSTON: Aviran Levy, Patrick Piasecki CHICAGO: Mireya Acierto, Tyllie Barbosa, Barry Brecheisen, Eric Craig, Jeremy Lawson, Eddie Quinones LOS ANGELES: Matt Armendariz, BEImages, Jessica Boone, Nadine Froger, Line 8 Photography, Zen Sekizawa, Dale Wilcox MIAMI: Joseph Cancellare & Associates, Matthew Horton, Moris Moreno, Elizabeth Renfrow, Mitchell Zachs TORONTO: Gary Beechey, Jill Kitchener, Henry Lin, Emma McIntyre, Nicki Leigh McKean, George Pimentel WASHINGTON: Tony Brown/Imijination Photo, Stephen Elliot, FotoBriceno, Powers and Crewe EDITORIAL OFFICES 21 West 38th St., 13th Floor, New York, NY 10018 phone: 646.638.3600, fax: 646.638.3601 CHICAGO BUREAU 312.436.2525 LOS ANGELES BUREAU 310.659.9510 MIAMI BUREAU 1450 NE 123 St., North Miami, FL 33161 305.808.3535 TORONTO BUREAU 2453 Yonge St., Suite 101, Toronto, ON M4P 2E8 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),
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BIZBASH NEW YORK 21 West 38th St., 13th Floor, New York, NY 10018 646.638.3600, fax: 646.638.3601 PUBLISHER Jacqueline Gould ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Lauren Stonecipher ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER, NATIONAL VENUE GUIDE/ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER, BIZBASH BOSTON Andrew Carlin ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Erica Fand, Kristie Hudson
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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; Dick Smith, CHAIRMAN, IACEP; 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
In the Trend Trenches I hate the word trendy. It’s one of those terms that can say more about the person using it than the thing it’s supposed to describe. For some people, what’s trendy is what’s already too popular; for others, it’s the new thing they don’t quite understand yet. For many, trendy suggests something is inauthentic—people always seem to pronounce the word with a note of condescension. It’s like when someone says, “You’re so hip!” They think they sound selfdeprecating (“I can’t keep up with fashion/music/ whatever!”), but often it’s a backhanded compliment (“I don’t have time for such silly things, but You could call the Ace Hotel trendy, it’s cute that you do!”). but I call its restaurant, the Breslin, The fact is, what you my favorite current lunch spot. consider trendy often events in this particular moment? depends on where you How did the top minds adapt to the are on the coolhunting/ new products, cultural inﬂuences, and early-adopter scale. (My economic constraints of the day? apologies if you ﬁnd We hope the 15 pages of photos, those terms equally obcase studies, and comments from noxious.) As connotationThrillist’s party during the New industry folks—and the stories in the ridden as trendy is, often York City Wine & Food Festival its meaning is too hard to had a beer-and-bourbon theme. rest of the issue—tell that story, from food trucks to social media to event pin down. So the word is I’m a fan of both, but we’ve all makeovers, and give you some ideas banned from these pages. seen enough bacon on event for 2011 as well. (See also: party planner, menus for a while, no? There’s also value in questioning fashionista.) some trends, as Ted Kruckel does in his column But you’re likely to ﬁnd its root, trend, here a on the unproven marketing value of promotional lot. We—the editors and you readers, too, not to Twitter messages. mention your guests—are obsessed with trends. One trend we should all be happy to see is a We want to know what’s current, what’s new, growing sense of optimism for the event busiwhat we need to move on from before everyone ness. In a survey of readers we conducted online else is doing it, what we need to move on to. in September, 77 percent chose bullish responses The nature of the event business requires you to when asked to describe the economic state of stay on top of what’s happening in food, design, the industry. Meanwhile, spending appears to be entertainment, technology, art, theater, and pop rising: 41 percent of readers said their September culture, so you can create experiences that feel 2010 budgets were up from September 2009 levcurrent and ahead of the curve. els, 28 percent said their budgets were ﬂat, and Identifying trends was our prime directive in putting together our Best of 2010 package. In ad- 31 percent reported reduced spending. For another take on ’10, we asked our budition to showcasing some of the cleverest ideas reau chiefs to describe 10 highlights in their we saw, we wanted to the story of this year markets—the groundbreaking local venues, new ON BIZBASH.COM tell events, and innovative ideas that kept them for the industry. What 10 highlights of 2010 were the obsessions, co- excited about covering this industry at this time. from each of our local incidences, and innova- You’ll ﬁnd their commentary on BizBash.com in markets tions that characterized December. —Chad Kaydo
PHOTOS: MELISSA HORN (ACE HOTEL), MICHAEL TOOLAN (THRILLIST PARTY)
How do you sum up a year?
Bring creativity to life with CORTâ€™s exclusive Endless CollectionTM, a modular seating system designed to fit any event space or party theme. With seating so versatile, the possibilities are truly infinite.
What was the best idea you saw in 2010? “Throughout the Remarkable Indonesia gala’s seated dinner, the event touched on different aspects of Indonesian culture. The ﬁnale of the evening was when every guest was brought an angklung—an instrument made of bamboo tubes—that played a single note. A music director on stage directed us in a performance. As we were playing, we realized it was an Abba song! The angklung was also a gift to take home.” Barbara Blauhut, director of special events, WETA Public Television & Radio, Washington
“Showtime’s Nurse Jackie RX Games event concept. From the event title to the tournament activities to the idea of engaging and rewarding real nurses for the second-season launch, it was brilliant and certainly targeted to a deserving audience.”
PHOTOS: ELEVIN PHOTOGRAPHY (BRYAN RAFANELLI), COURTESY OF HARGROVE (RON BRACCO)
Jenny Powers, vice president of special events, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Southern New York Chapter
“I loved the Leukemia Ball’s use of handheld wireless devices. They were given to bidders, enabling them to track their bids as the evening progressed.” Ron Bracco, creative director, events, Hargrove Inc., Washington
“Dessert inside a balloon. Guests are given a pin to pop and eat.” Bryan Rafanelli, owner, Rafanelli Events, Boston
“PDA marketing. More than ever, the event industry has taken to the PDA airwaves to promote and update events, meetings, and trade shows. Within seconds, text message updates can get to attendees. You also gain a database to market next year’s event.” Dargan Watts, director, Birchmore Group Inc., Orlando
“Virtual events. I love the Virtualis Convention Center in Second Life. It is a virtual environment for trade shows, meetings, and even virtual banquets, dances, concerts, etc.” Patti Shock, professor and director of distance learning, Harrah College of Hotel Administration, University of Nevada
“The increased focus on security and eventprofessional responsibilities after crashers made it into the White House last year.” Alison Bossert, senior vice president, special events, Columbia Tristar Marketing Group, Los Angeles
“One of my favorites ideas is the cheesecake ‘ice cream’ cone, where there is a soft center of whipped ﬂavored cheesecake inside a miniature sugar cone. It eliminates the intense labor of scooping out ice cream during an event, and you don’t have to worry about melting. Guests also love the surprise of biting into cheesecake instead of ice cream.” Pasquale Ingenito, executive chef, Windows Catering Company, Washington
“I’ve seen many events make use of the service staff to tie elements into the branding or theme. At Ubisoft’s launch event, [staffers wore] Revenge of the Nerds costumes with taped rimmed glasses, ‘Hello My Name Is NERD’ nametags, and bow ties. The servers have a lot of interaction with the guests and almost act as live, moving decor.” Alison Slight, managing director, Candice & Alison Luxury Event Management, Toronto
Compiled by Claire Hoffman
bizbash.com winter 2010–11 9
SURVEY SAYS We asked readers for their take on this moment in the event business. Here are some highlights.
How would you describe the current economic state of the event industry? FEATURING
It’s going to get worse before it gets better.
CELEBR ATING 10 Y E A R S
Paula Deen Guy Fieri Bobby Flay Emeril Lagasse Rachael Ray Giada De Laurentiis and many more
February 24-27, 2011
We’re fully recovered and back to normal.
We’re still in the thick of the downturn.
We’re through the worst of it, and we have settled into a new normal.
41% We’re just starting to recover.
Tickets Available Now!
www.sobefest.com | 877-762-3933 73(;05<4:765:69:
Are you haggling over prices more or less now (September 2010) than you were a year ago (September 2009)? Haggling less
Haggling more 10%
;OL6MÄJPHS*HYKVM[OL-VVK5L[^VYR :V\[O)LHJO>PUL -VVK-LZ[P]HS
FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY
55% Haggling about the same as a year ago
How would you describe your feelings about your long-term job prospects in the event industry? I’m terriﬁed. I’m a little worried.
I’m very optimistic.
54% I’m cautiously optimistic.
Registration Web Development Travel & Housing Event Management www.e-ventsreg.com
Methodology: The survey was conducted online from September 13 to 23 via a link shared with BizBash email newsletter subscribers and Twitter followers. The data here represents responses from 1,023 people who identiﬁed themselves as event planners (who work in-house, on their own, or at ﬁrms) or owners or employees of venues or industry vendors.
ON BIZBASH.COM More survey results regarding budgets, holiday parties, and industry stafﬁng levels
CHICAGO ßWESTßONTARIOßß ßßHARDROCKMEETINGSCOM
PHOTO: LIN AND JIRSA PHOTOGRAPHY
COOL CURTAINS To add a wintry look to end-of-the-year gatherings, Ice Bulb (877.423.2852, icebulb.com) offers decorative curtains made of frozen water. A machine cuts ice into gemlike cubes, which the company hand-strings onto cables suspended from trussing. Curtains can be made in any length and height. If used indoors, the pieces last about ﬁve hours; a container below collects drips. Ice Bulb is based in Southern California, but works nationwide and in Canada. While pricing depends on the size of each piece, strands typically cost $140 to $180 each, plus more for assembly and delivery. —Lisa Cericola
holiday party ideas
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bizbash.com winter 2010–11 13
New on the Menu
holiday party ideas
Seasons’ Eating By LISA CERICOLA
Basil-breaded smoked turkey “ﬁngers” with honey orange marmalade and pomegranate seeds from Great Performances (212.727.2424, greatperfor mances.com) in New York
Tourtière strudel with mustard pickle from Jamie Kennedy Event Catering (416.362.1957, jamiekennedy.ca) in Toronto
Chocolate sorbet popsicles on a bed of crushed peppermints from Limelight Catering (773.883.3080, limelightcatering.com) in Chicago
Goat cheese lollipop trufﬂes rolled in crushed pistachios, sun-dried tomatoes, and other toppings from Windows Catering Company (703.519.3500, catering. com) in Washington
Cranberry maple salmon with pink peppercorn sauce in toast cups from Good Gracious! Events (323.954.2277, goodgraciousevents.com) in Los Angeles
PHOTOS: GREG POWERS (NEW YORK, WASHINGTON), JOANNA DICKINS (TORONTO), TYLLIE BARBOSA (CHICAGO), JESSICA BOONE (LOS ANGELES)
Here are ﬁve passed bites for holiday gatherings of all types.
Photography by Josh Sears
holiday party ideas
Serve in Style Make end-of-year gatherings feel festive with these glasses and tasting vessels. By LISA CERICOLA
Toasting glasses, 85 cents, available in Southern California from Town & Country Event Rentals (800.899.2620, townandcountryeventrentals.com)
Champagne Flutes Bella gold champagne ﬂute, $1.95, available in New York from Something Different Party Rental (973.742.1779, something differentparty. com)
Ruby Braid glass, pricing varies, available nationwide from Classic Party Rentals (310.764.0373 ext. 316, classicparty rentals.com)
Paloma ﬂute, pricing upon request, available in New York from Party Rental Ltd. (201.727.4700, partyrentalltd. com)
Spiegelau champagne coupe, $3, available in Toronto from Chair-Man Mills (416.391.0400, chair manmills.com)
Mini fry basket, $2, available in Toronto from Exclusive Affair Rentals (416.759.2611, exclusiveaffair.com)
Teardrop spoon, $1.75, available in Toronto from Chair-Man Mills
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Voss clear plate, pricing upon request, available in New York from Party Rental Ltd.
White oval tasting spoon, $1, available in New York from Something Different Party Rental
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF VENDORS
Seven-inch oyster plate, pricing varies, available nationwide from Classic Party Rentals
Mini leaf plate, 55 cents, available throughout South Florida from Atlas Party Rental (561.547.6565, atlaspartyrental.com)
What are clever ways to integrate trade show sponsors? to the show. Key exhibitors are also able to sponsor so-called V.I.P. “closing lounges,” or meeting rooms off the ﬂoor. In the rooms, companies can serve snacks or cocktails, show videos, and brand the space with decor of their choosing. Some companies have also opted to provide services, such as manicures or hairstyling, within the rooms. In August, the BlogHer conference drew about 2,500 bloggers to the Hilton New York, where the three-day event had a traditional trade show setup. “We really tried to ﬁnd creative ways to integrate our sponsors, so they weren’t just a booth on the ﬂoor,” says San Francisco-based director of events Lori Luna. In addition to branding prominent signage, some BlogHer sponsors used celebrities to engage the crowd, both on and off the ﬂoor. Sara Lee called on Top Chef star Padma Lakshmi to judge a sandwich-
At the BlogHer conference, celebrities like Padma Lakshmi participated in events. making contest. Tropicana hosted a breakfast and enlisted spokesperson Bruce Jenner—former Olympic athlete and currently on Keeping Up With the Kardashians—to pour its newest ﬂavors at a juice bar. “When they saw the reality TV stars, people went nuts, especially on Twitter,” says Luna. “We knew we’d get attention on blogs, but we also had 100,000 mentions on Twitter on the ﬁrst day alone.” As director of strategic accounts at Reed Exhibitions, Lawrence Settembrini works with the sponsors of New York Comic Con, which takes place at the Jacob K. Javits Center. “It’s a fairly young show in a large building, and we initially had
concerns about fans ﬁnding their way through the [venue],” says Settembrini. “Our solution was to sell a sponsorship to a company that builds scale statues of superheroes.” Producers placed the statues at key locations throughout the building, and referred to them in directions. “For example, we provide instructions to our conference and panel areas as such: ‘Head to the Superman statue in the north concourse, then take the escalators down to the ﬁrst ﬂoor,’” says Settembrini. “It’s a pretty simple concept that resulted in sponsorship revenue, helped our attendees navigate the building, and provided a photo opportunity.” —Jenny Berg
A New Way to Fill Seats CharityHappenings (charityhappenings.org), an online calendar of fund-raisers, now allows nonproﬁts to promote events and sell tickets. Planners create a customized ticketTIC K E TI NG ing Web page with details about the event, plus other information such as auction items or the organization’s mission. While the service itself is free, CharityHappenings charges 99 cents plus a 3 percent fee per attendee (up to $7.49) at the point of sale. For the time being, tickets can be purchased in American dollars, but the company says a Canadian version is coming soon. —Lisa Cericola
ON BIZBASH.COM More new products and services
18 bizbash.com winter 2010–11
A SPARKLING BAR New from rental company FWR Rental Haus (877.637.3744, fwrental.com), the paillette bar adds a shiny touch to events. The piece, which comes in aqua and silver, can be conﬁgured as a 12- by 10-foot four-sided R E NTA L rectangular bar, or a 12- or 8-foot single-sided bar. For an additional charge, the paillettes can be used to spell out the name of a company or event. The bar is available nationwide, and pricing starts at $750. —L.C.
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF BLOGHER, COURTESY OF CHARITYHAPPENINGS, COURTESY OF FWR RENTAL HAUS
From making unexpected use of celebrity spokespeople to employing superhero statues, here are a few clever ways to increase sponsor visibility at trade shows. At America’s Beauty Show in Chicago, producers ensure that sponsors’ presence extends beyond the show ﬂoor. “We work with major exhibitors to offer an overall program to incorporate within their trade show strategy,” says Paul Dykstra, C.E.O. of Cosmetologists Chicago and America’s Beauty Show. Besides their booths, sponsoring manufacturers who exhibit are invited to brand key cards for hotels associated with the event. Sponsors can place products such as shampoos, conditioners, and face washes in attendees’ rooms at these properties. Sponsors are also invited to host press lounges that surround the show ﬂoor, where they can speak directly to beauty editors who come
For this summer’s National Scout Jamboree in Virginia, celebrating the Boy Scouts of America’s 100th anniversary, CorporateMagic Inc. created a 395-foot-long stage with three massive LED screens and eight ﬂaming cauldrons.
PHOTOS: CHRISTOPHER POLK/GETTY IMAGES (MTV MOVIE AWARDS), COURTESY OF CORPORATE MAGIC (BOY SCOUTS), BILLY FARRELL/PATRICKMCMULLAN.COM (CFDA AWARDS), EMMANUEL DUNAND/GETTY IMAGES (MARC JACOBS), RANDY MICHAEL KORWIN/RMK PHOTO (DIFFA)
The MTV Movie Awards in June had a dynamic set with layered projection screens designed by Consortium Studios and lit by Triphoton City.
PROGRESSIVE STAGES Here’s a look at innovative designs from concerts, fashion shows, and other events. By LISA CERICOLA
For a June fund-raiser beneﬁting Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS, Chicago’s Kehoe Designs created a platform with a giant, illuminated wall that framed a video screen.
For the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s annual awards in June, scenic designer Scott Pask made a backdrop shaped like Richard Serra’s sculpture “Torqued Ellipse IV.” Producers projected video onto a central cylinder and two wing walls.
At Marc Jacobs’s spring 2011 show, a lamp-shade-shaped bronze structure acted as the entrance to the catwalk.
SOCIAL SKILLS “I’ve been to Athens ﬁve times in my life, but it wasn’t until last year that I actually got to see the Acropolis,” says Steven Valenti, founder of All Things Party (847.234.4200, allthingsparty.us). The ﬁrst time Valenti headed to the ancient city, he was a senior in college, working for Lake Forest-based planner Bruce Southworth. Valenti was assisting with events such as a private anniversary party in Athens, which entailed chartering a cruise ship for 116 guests and retracing part of Ulysses’s voyage from the Odyssey. Soon after graduation, Valenti began working with Southworth full-time, and then spent 16 years there, starting as an assistant and working his way up to managing director—and getting to Greece a few more times for business, but not sightseeing. Valenti describes his work with Southworth as planning very highend events for the nation’s wealthy.
“One of the things I came up with there was the 10-10 rule,” he says. “Every event hit within 10 percent of the established budget, and within 10 minutes of our timeline.” Then, “no doubt about it, two years ago the world changed,” and business dried up, Valenti says. “There was a lot of sluggishness in the economy, and our clients stopped entertaining.” Valenti and Southworth parted ways in 2008—but within a week, Valenti says, he was getting calls from former clients requesting his services for weddings or birthday parties. “They still had occasions they wanted to celebrate, and I could help out,” he says. “That gave me the conﬁdence to realize I could do it on my own.” In March 2009, Valenti founded All Things Party. Apart from his social clients, in the past year and a half, the company has worked on the after-party for Rush University’s
charitable fashion show, which drew 600 guests to the Palmer House Hilton’s Red Lacquer Room for an event with a “Feel the Pulse” Steven Valenti theme. Throbbing LED lights underscored the intended vibe, tables got custom, fringed linens, and life-size cutouts of the event’s fashion-sketch logo ﬁlled the room. Valenti has also planned a retirement party for a television industry executive and the opening of the Hermès ﬂagship store in Chicago. “What makes my business unique is the experience I have from the past,” he says. “I’ve dealt with a very discerning client base who knows what they want, and are used to the best. There’s no reason for an event to ever feel corporate or canned. Everything can be treated
Behind the Scenes at Restaurants Flight Chicago (ﬂightdeckchicago.com) is a new service that takes groups on tours of local eateries. For $100 per person, the three-hour tours let as many as 20 guests into restaurants during off hours—usually between lunch and dinner. Participants get to meet the chefs, tour the kitchen, and sample dishes with wine and beer The Bristol in Wicker Park pairings. A typical participates in Flight tours tour stops by three eateries (in TO U R neighborhoods such as West Town and Wicker Park) that offer different kinds of cuisine (making the tour similar to a wine ﬂight, thus the name). Participating venues include Branch 27, Green Zebra, and the Bristol. —J.B.
20 bizbash.com winter 2010–11
like a private party, and I present ideas in that fashion.” “Steve Valenti is not only professional, organized, and on the ball, he is one of the most creative people we have worked with,” say Colleen Mygatt and Elissa Kovas, chairs of a U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association event produced by Valenti, via email. Held at the Cycle and Saddle Club in October, the fund-raiser drew more than 300 guests and had a casual ski-lodge theme, a silent auction, and Olympic athletes in attendance. “We were totally blown away by his skills,” say Mygatt and Kovas. —Jenny Berg
A NEW SPIN ON SANDWICHES Launched in July, Gaztro-Wagon (773.942.6152, gastro-wagon. com) slings creative sandwiches on Indian naan bread— the owners call them “Naan-wiches.” Options CATE R I NG include the “Fidel Gaztro,” made with pork shoulder, ham, and Manchego cheese. The truck can cater city events for as many as 300 guests, working curbside, dropping off snacks, or setting up shop at an on-site kitchen. A minimum Gaztro-Wagon’s order of 75 Naan-wiches sandwiches is required to take the truck off the streets, but there is no hourly charge. Sandwiches range from $7 to $12 apiece. —J.B.
PHOTOS: NICOLE RADJA FOR BIZBASH (VALENTI), COURTESY OF THE BRISTOL, CHRISTIAN BEHR (GAZTRO-WAGON)
Steven Valenti applies his experience producing high-end social functions to corporate events and fund-raisers.
WORLD-CLASS EVENTS. Discover a world of possibilities for your next event. Indulge the imagination of your guests in the Museum of Science and Industryâ€™s inspiring spaces and exhibits. Contact your personal event coordinator to bring the essence and style of your event to life. From fun to phenomenal, we plan events for every taste. 57th and Lake Shore Drive | (773) 753-2583 | Convenient Indoor Parking | msichicago.org/specialevents
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Kendall College Debuts Riverwalk +ENDALL #OLLEGE RECENTLY INAUGURATED THE 2IVERWALK THE NEWEST ADDITION TO ITS ALREADY IMPRESSIVE SPECIAL EVENT VENUE OFFERINGS 4HE SQUARE FOOT RAW SPACE FEATURES STUNNING VIEWS OF THE #HICAGO SKYLINE AND A SPACIOUS OUTDOOR PAVILION ALONG THE #HICAGO 2IVER 2IVERWALK CAN HOST AS MANY AS GUESTS INSIDE THE PAVILION PROVIDES SPACE FOR ANOTHER WHEN WEATHER PERMITS 2IVERWALK EVENTS ALSO PROVIDE VALUABLE EXPERIENCE TO +ENDALL #OLLEGEÂ´S HOSPITALITY STUDENTS WHO WORK UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THE INSTITUTIONÂ´S IN HOUSE EVENT SERVICES TEAM KENDALLEDU
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Forecast Ideas, products, and just plain cool stuff to have on your radar. By LISA CERICOLA
PHOTOS: METHOD (1), KDM GLOBAL PARTNERS (2), DEFINITION BRANDING & MARKETING (3), COURTESY OF THE FOOD NETWORK SOUTH BEACH WINE AND FOOD FESTIVAL (4), MUSEUM OF ART AND DESIGN (5), COURTESY OF SPIDERMAN TURN OFF THE DARK (7), COURTESY OF DORCHESTER COLLECTION (8), COURTESY OF MERCEDES BENZ FASHION WEEK (9), COURTESY OF DAVID STARK (11)
Ideal for events without bartenders, Vino Solo combines a 187-milliliter bottle of wine with a plastic drinking ﬂute. It’s available through Philadelphia-based KDM Global Partners (215.509.7500, kdmglobalpartners.com). Custom labels can be made with a company’s logo.
The AppLounge at the 2010 London Design Festival featured a curated selection of ebooks, MP3s, and online services. The sleek pop-up is a stylish example of how to showcase digital products.
Ideal for meetings and presentations, the Ediﬁer Soundbar USB ($49.99, available at store. apple.com in December) is a 10-inch speaker that connects to a laptop through a USB port and emits stereo-quality sound.
Available November 16, the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival Cookbook from Clarkson Potter commemorates 10 years of the festival with chef interviews, recipes, and other behind-the-scenes tidbits from director Lee Brian Schrager.
Running from November 17 to May 15, 2011, at New York’s Museum of Arts and Design (212.299.7777, mad museum.org), the “Global Africa Project” is an extensive exhibit of contemporary African art, design, and craft, as well as an exploration of the socioeconomic impact of art-making in local communities.
The Lacoste Show
Central Florida-based paper goods company Riﬂe Paper Co. has a charming blog (riﬂemade.squarespace. com) where owner Anna Bond shares her latest projects and design obsessions, from vintage book covers to retro interiors.
The long-gestating Broadway show Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark (spider manonbroadway.marvel. com), directed by Julie Taymor—known for her groundbreaking spectacles— with music by Bono and the Edge from U2, debuts November 14 at Foxwoods Theatre in New York.
10. Three feeds worth following on Twitter:
8. For the Hotel Plaza Athénée Paris’s (plazaathenee-paris.com) new winter menu, head pastry chef Christophe Michalak created “Chestnut,” a rum baba with vanilla chantilly cream, spiky points of meringue, and chestnut Bavarian cream.
Whether in shades of tangerine, pumpkin, or—as Pantone calls it—“coral rose,” orange was one of the hottest color trends during the spring 2011 shows at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.
The Design Observer Group (@designobserver) delivers newsy updates on worldwide “design, culture, change.” For cultural, political, and just plain inspirational tweets, Yoko Ono (@yokoono) ﬁts the bill. Zappos C.E.O. Tony Hsieh (@zappos) mixes thoughts on marketing and business with daily (often funny) musings.
11. On My Radar “The chic fashion line Leroy and Perry (leroyand perry.com) has delighted me in spades with its inventive reuse of soda cans this fall. The ﬁne sprays of sequins that give a little sparkle to a new line of shift dresses are, in fact, fashioned from recycled pop cans. Super cool, right?” David Stark, president and creative director, David Stark Design and Production, New York
bizbash.com winter 2010–11 23
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PHOTOS: COURTESY OF TOPGOLF, COURTESY OF JW MARRIOTT CHICAGO, COURTESY OF BENNY’S CHOP HOUSE, RICK AGUILAR/RICK AGUILAR STUDIOS (RIVERWALK)
Meet Up, Then Tee Up Wood Dale’s TopGolf, which offers a live-ball driving range with computerized scoring, got a rooftop beer garden in August. Equipped with a ﬁre pit, a live performance area, and 26 hitting bays, the alfresco space can host events for 150. The venue’s lower levels house three areas that can host private events: Its executive suites hold 100, the Bayview Lounge has space for 80, and a meeting room with a 52-inch ﬂat-screen TV and Polycom conference equipment holds 14. (699 West Thorndale Ave., 630.595.4653)
By JENNY BERG
Kitchen Conﬁdential The Riverwalk at Kendall College opened at the hospitality school in September. The 1,890-square-foot raw space has Art Deco-style blackand-white ﬂoors and holds 100 inside. The venue offers views of the river and city skyline, though window coverings can block the sun to create meeting settings. An outdoor space can hold an additional 100. The college’s in-house event department currently handles its functions, letting students set up, work, and cook for events. (900 North Branch St., 312.752.2196)
A New Spot for Green Meetings The ﬁrst Chicago location of the JW Marriott hotel was slated to open in November. In a Daniel Burnham-designed bank building, which just got a $396 million renovation, the venue will offer 609 guest rooms, a 20,000-square-foot spa, a ﬁne-dining restaurant, and a combined bar and lounge. Some 44,000 square feet of meeting space will include two ballrooms and more than 30 breakout rooms; green meeting packages will be available. (151 West Addams St., 312.660.8200)
A Working-Lunch Destination Benny’s Chop House opened in River North in April. The restaurant dishes out U.S.D.A. prime steaks, oysters, pasta, and classic side dishes, such as creamed spinach and hand-cut fries. In the back, a private dining room equipped with Wi-Fi can seat 40 to 50, or hold 75 for receptions. Built into the wall, a ﬂat-screen TV hooks up to laptops and DVD players for presentations. The room also offers a rolling champagne cart for tableside drink service. (444 North Wabash Ave., 312.626.2444)
bizbash.com winter 2010–11 25
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InďŹ‚ation Rate The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago celebrated its 50th anniversary with a bevy of balloons on September 11.
27 bizbash.com january/february 2010
Caravents produced the September 16 soiree on the Santa Monica Pier, with carnival lights, supper club-style lounges, and gaming tables.
Triple Play HBO staged three premieres for its new drama Boardwalk Empire: On the West Coast, the gathering for 350 was designed as a national sales incentive for HBO’s internal digital network distribution team. The New York fete entertained an industry crowd of 1,000, while the Atlantic City affair was a consumer-targeted promotion for 500.
COAST TO COAST
Guests tried their luck at casino games for a buyin of $500 in play money.
By ALESANDRA DUBIN & ANNA SEKULA Carnival-style entertainers greeted guests at the entrance.
The Peterson Automotive Museum supplied vintage vehicles from the 1920’s.
PHOTOS: LINE 8 PHOTOGRAPHY
Signage evoked Prohibition-era posters.
28 bizbash.com winter 2010–11
A large sign of the show’s name marked the entrance to the New York premiere party, which was produced by Invision Events at Rockefeller Center on September 15.
PHOTOS: KEITH SIRCHIO FOR BIZBASH (NEW YORK), COURTESY OF BILL BANKS (ATLANTIC CITY)
The 40-foot-long bar was resurfaced with vintage posters from 1920s Atlantic City.
The study at One Atlantic was turned into a gambling den with a live cigar roller.
The 1,000person bash was spread across Rink Bar, Sea Grill, and Rock Center Café.
As a playful nod to Boardwalk Empire’s central character, Nucky Thompson, a cigarette girl handed out red carnation boutonnieres to arriving guests.
To reference the seaside town, the buffet included lobster tail, steamed mussels, and king crab legs.
HBO’s marketing team worked with Civic Entertainment Group and venue One Atlantic to produce the 500-person bash on September 16. Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks Orchestra performed for the crowd.
ON BIZBASH.COM More photos and ideas from these events
Rock Solid Lollapalooza returned with a bigger footprint, fancier snacks, and a diner for sneakers. Mike Walker, operations manager at C3 Presents, slept in on August 7 until 4:25 a.m. The rest of the week, he was up by 4 a.m. and in Grant Park by 6 a.m. to take care of last-minute adjustments to the C3-produced Lollapalooza, which took place August 6 through 8. “Anyone can put on an easy show,” Walker said. “Lollapalooza’s not easy.” Though not exactly a cakewalk, the festival does have some structural elements that remain unchanged from year to year. The 2010 version, for example, stuck with previous iterations by having eight main stages, which saw performances from headliners such as Lady Gaga, Green Day, Phoenix, and Soundgarden. But this year the Friday night’s event’s footprint expanded west of Columbus headliner, Drive, resulting in grounds that Walker said were Lady Gaga, about 25 percent larger than in 2009. performed on The new layout was intended to “improve the Parkways the ﬂow and make more room for patrons,” Foundation Walker said. “It’s better for everyone.” After a Stage at walkthrough during the Lady Gaga show, which the park’s drew close to 80,000 fans on Friday night, Walker southern end. noted that no particular area felt congested. Part of that, he said, was due to a new position for the V.I.P. cabanas, which corporations purchase to provide air-conditioned—and bar-equipped—viewing space for clients. Perched atop a Lollapalooza knoll in the park, the cabanas were Catering Behind the moved farther back this year to Scenes Catering & Events, provide more room for fans below. Designed Cuisine New attractions included the Cleaning Services Clean Green Street Farmer’s Market, Event Construction Equipment where Chicago eateries slung Rentals Sunbelt Rentals snacks made with local produce. Decor, Event Management, Two so-called Chow Town areas, Production, Video C3 food courts on the park’s northern Presents Decor M&M The Special and southern sides, offered higherEvents Company end snacks than in previous years. Fencing National Fence With Graham Elliott Bowles as its Furniture Rentals, Linens, culinary director—the ﬁrst in the Rentals, Tenting Classic Party Rentals festival’s history—Chow Town had Furniture Rentals C.O.R.T. everything from Sunda’s shrimpEvent Furnishings tempura-and-cucumber sushi to Golf Carts RMI Golf Carts strawberry-pie milkshakes from Lighting Airstar Space Lighting, Christie Lites Inc. Hoosier Mama. Power Aggreko Sponsor activations included PR Fresh and Clean Media Adidas’s new “Mega Shoebox.” Portable Restrooms, Built to look like a diner, the temSanitation Waste Management porary room had sneakers housed Security Monterrey on cake stands, staffers dressed like Security, NPB Companies servers in a ’50s diner, and a photo Inc., S3: Safety Service booth. Sony and radio station Systems Inc. Sound Clair Sound Worx Q101 were among the returning Staging Stageco Staging At the Adidas Mega Shoebox, staffers brands to sponsor on-site lounges. Group dressed like waitresses from a ’50s diner. —Jenny Berg
Performance schedules surrounded truss structures throughout the park.
As in the past, blown-up white letters above the entrance spelled out the festival’s name.
On festival grounds, classic Lollapalooza decor included shining stars.
PHOTOS: BARRY BRECHEISEN FOR BIZBASH
Hope Floats A nonproﬁt celebrated its 50th anniversary with balloon centerpieces and polka-dot lights. On September 11, the women’s board of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago celebrated its 50th anniversary with a balloon-ﬁlled gala at the Chicago History Museum. Sophie Bross, Britt Taner, and Jennifer Tengelsen cochaired the event, asking designer Bill Heffernan of Heffernan Morgan to give the fund-raiser the look of an elegant birthday bash. The Women’s Board Heffernan created two distinct of the Rehabilitation areas to house the cocktail recepInstitute of Chicago’s tion, dinner, and end-of-night dance Medicine Ball party. Inside the museum, all-white Catering Off-Premise lounge areas offered sofa seating Events by Lettuce and illuminated polka dots scatEntertain You, Taste tered across the ceiling. DJ Michael America Catering Smith spun lounge-y beats, and Decor Heffernan Morgan Inc. DJ Michael Smith bunches of white balloons popped Invitations Watel Design up throughout. Lighting Frost For dinner and the live auction, Linens BBJ Linen, Cloth guests headed to a clear tent on the Connection Printing Graphic Arts property’s back lawn. Done up in Studio Inc. tones of green and purple, the tent’s Rentals Hall’s Rental decor centered on yet more balloons. Tenting Partytime Fittingly, the three-course meal Productions Inc. Valet VIP Valet ended with a traditional birthday Venue Chicago History treat: Taste America prepared ﬂourMuseum less chocolate cake. —Jenny Berg
Heffernan Morgan’s mirrored light boxes held arrangements of purple roses.
ha e nc ve ou Vis oc nt r it ko s s ne bs ec w er tio va n to at ry .co m
PHOTOS: PHOTOSGRAPHY BY TAY KAUNE
Designer Bill Heffernan said he was going for a “chic, lounge-y look for cocktails and after-party dancing.”
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Hakkasan served steamed sea bass topped with soya bean at its food station on Friday night. Red, the Steakhouse and Gotham Steak chefs participated in a barbecue competition on Saturday afternoon.
Equinox Fitness Club conducted morning yoga sessions on the beach behind the hotel.
and dinner party in a hotel ballroom—moved from the back lawn when torrential rains and ﬂooding that afternoon forced the party inside— with the hotel’s restaurants Scarpetta, Hakkasan, Gotham Steak, and Solo providing food stations Thrillist staged a branded hotel in Miami for dinner and dessert. Singer Angela Laino and Beach with three days of parties. band Suénalo performed during the cocktail reception and dinner, respectively. Thrillist is no stranger to trip giveaways. Saturday’s planned activities kicked off early MIAMI In October the email newsletter staged with morning yoga on the beach led by Equinox its Jet Mystery event, which ﬂew 158 guests on Fitness Club instructors and a light breakfast at JetBlue to a surprise location, Jamaica, for a three poolside eatery La Cote. Presenting sponsors Bacdays of activities. In an effort to create a more ardi and Corona supplied poolside liquid libations grounded presence in one of its 16 markets, the throughout the day. New York-based company created the inaugural Other afternoon activities included musicHotel Thrillist in Miami Beach June 4 to 6. spinning lessons from Scratch DJ Academy, ca“Thrillist recommends the best poeira lessons from Miami Capoeira restaurants and nightclubs [in Project, tours and animal encounHotel Thrillist Miami], and our mission [with this ters at Jungle Island exotic zoo, and Catering, Rentals, Venue initiative] was to showcase just mini massages from Equinox. DJ Fontainebleau Hotel that to a national audience,” said Elle spun for the majority of the day, Catering, Venue Red, the Steakhouse the company’s event manager, Ben and R&B singer Kat Deluna gave a Hindman. “We wanted people to be Catering Gotham Steak, special 30-minute concert complete Hakkasan, Scarpetta, Solo able to experience the brand as a with dancers on the pool deck. at the Fontainebleau local entity and not just an email.” That night Thrillist transported Costumes, DJ, Entertainment, Makeup, Thrillist ran national and local everyone to the South of Fifth Stafﬁng Overthrow online sweepstakes for readers to neighborhood for a dinner party at DJs DJ Elle, Scratch DJ win a hotel room at the FontainebRed’s rooftop event space. DJ Señor Academy leau, which Thrillist rebranded with Entertainment, Venue Stereo from event company OverJungle Island signage and designated activity throw, ﬁre dancers, and the Miami Entertainment Miami areas, and access to its sponsored Heat dancers entertained throughCapoeira Project, Suénalo, events. About 200 people from out the night. The Gurkha Cigars around the country, plus 100 locals The company held a farewell Sound Southern Audio Visual and national media, attended. breakfast at Gotham Steak on Transportation Coastal Car The festivities began on Friday Sunday morning before attendees Worldwide night with a welcome reception checked out. —D. Channing Muller
PHOTOS: NICK MCGLYNN (BEACH, BIRDS), JUSTIN NAMON/WORLDREDEYE.COM (CHEFS)
Guests who signed up for the Jungle Island tour Saturday morning had hands-on experiences with the zoo’s residents.
Heffernan Morgan’s Bill Heffernan used thousands of sheets of cellophane and chromed lightbulbs to create 16 custom chandeliers.
As night fell, Frost employed LED and automated lighting effects to animate the raspberry-colored cloud chandeliers.
Cloud Nine After cocktails, dinner and dancing took place in a clear tent from HDO.
Glowing Lucite and cellophane clouds decorated the Chicago Botanic Garden’s summer beneﬁt. June was a rainstorm-heavy month, but planners weren’t particularly concerned about the weather when it came to the Chicago Botanic Garden’s summer dance on June 25. The fund-raiser followed a formula that’s been in place since it began seven years ago: After alfresco cocktails on the esplanade, guests headed to a decked-out tent for dinner and dancing. “The garden is stunning rain or shine,” cochair Stephanie Harris said. “In case of rain, we would have used more of the beautiful indoor space that already exists at the Botanic Garden, in addition to the fantastic tent.” But ultimately, the only clouds on Friday were of the Heffernan Morgan-designed variety. Bill Heffernan said his design scheme was intended to look “contemporary, fresh, and clean.” In the tent, clear Lucite chairs framed custom white lacquer tables, and illuminated centerpieces held color-blocked bunches of orchids. For the crowning touch, Heffernan used thousands of sheets of cellophane and chromed Chicago Botanic lightbulbs to design 16 cloudlike Garden’s Summer chandeliers. As night fell, a pink Dance lighting scheme gave the ﬂoating ﬁxtures a raspberry-hued glow. Catering Calihan Catering Entertainment Gentlemen Ultimately, “we wanted to of Leisure Band keep the traditions that were set Decor, Design, Flowers out in years past, but add a bit of Heffernan Morgan Inc. a younger, modern edge to [the Furniture Rentals Hall’s Rental event],” said Harris, whose fellow Lighting Frost co-chairs included her mother-inLinens BBJ Linen law, Caryn Harris. The event drew Tenting HDO Tenting 406 guests and raised nearly Valet Sidney’s Valet Services Inc. $425,000 for the garden’s conserVenue Chicago Botanic vation, education, and research Garden programs. —Jenny Berg
Heffernan’s four-foot-long centerpieces incorporated glowing white Lucite cubes and color blocks of raspberry, gold, and purple orchids.
Calihan Catering’s offerings included shrimp cocktail. The clear tent housed 40 custom white lacquer dinner tables and clear Lucite chairs.
34 bizbash.com november/december 2010
PHOTOS: PHOTOGRAPHY BY TAY KAUNE
said, was simple—and malleable: “Lots of fabric.” Williams said the look of this year’s event was “all fabric and Loyola University pulled off its Founders’ lighting”—which, he added, was economical. “We used LED lightDinner without a loading dock. ing, which is much more affordable than it used to be, to change On June 19, Loyola Chicago Univerthe look throughout the night. We CHICAGO sity hosted its Founders’ Dinner had ﬁve different looks in all— for 817 donors. The event followed the same all because of lighting.” format as its previous iteration, Though the starting with cocktails in the library Loyola University event’s design was Fabric and lighting played heavily and culminating with dinner and in place well in Chicago’s Founders’ into the look of this year’s dinner. entertainment in the decked-out advance, one unDinner gymnasium. But planners had a expected issue did Audiovisual Production, new challenge this year: The gym is pop up last minute. “I got an email Design, Lighting, Sound, Staging Centerstage undergoing construction, which led from one of the vendors with the Productions to limited access during the six-day subject line: ‘Houston, we have a Catering Blue Plate build-out. problem,’” said Williams. “None Decor, Design Event There was no working loading of us had thought of this, but Creative Entertainment The Chris dock and several entrance points the carpeting we wanted to use Sarlas Orchestra were closed off, so vendors could comes in 4- by 10-foot panels.” The Flowers Flaire Design only access the building through carpeting could be rolled up into Studio, Ken Puttbach one set of double doors. “As we smaller strips, but the carts that Designs Furniture Rentals, Rentals were designing the space, we rolled them into the gym would Hall’s Rental had to ensure that everything we be wider than the double doors. Linens BBJ Linen took into consideration could ﬁt Ultimately, crew members Photography Steve Becker through those doors,” said the removed a hinge from the top of Photography Printing Lowitz & Sons university’s director of special the doors, which provided an extra Flaire Design Studios Tenting Partytime events, Richard Williams. “If it three inches of space. The carts provided ﬂowers, and Event Productions Inc. couldn’t ﬁt, it couldn’t be part of rolled in with half an inch of room Video John Hillman Creative handled decor. the design.” The solution, Williams on each side. —Jenny Berg
PHOTOS: STEVE BECKER/BECKER MEDIA
Hors d’oeuvres from Blue Plate included blackened shrimp on crostini with prosciutto and mascarpone.
Canadian designer Breeyn McCarney used ﬂowers to create a dress inspired by festival sponsor PerrierJouët’s Belle Epoque bottle.
Barbara Hershenhorn of Party Barbara Co. draped the Artifacts Room in all white and used white sofas from Furnishings by Corey to give the space an icy feel.
Inspired by the opening night ﬁlm, Score: A Hockey Musical, the festival’s kick off gala had a dance ﬂoor that resembled an ice rink.
The Liberty Group served a selection of concession stand fare like pizza and hot dogs as well as passed hors d’oeuvres like jalapeno cheese poppers and crispy calamari. Iceculture used 9,000 pounds of ice to produce a hockey rink ice table dubbed the TIFF Shooter Bar, where guests could sample shots of Skyy Vodka.
36 bizbash.com july/august 2010
we had dasher boards all around the rink with advertising on them,” she said. The boards displayed sponsor names like Bell, RBC, Perrier-Jouët, Skyy Vodka, and Stella Artois. DJ Jojo Flores spun tunes from an elevated DJ The Toronto International Film booth, draped in black and adorned with a 2004 Festival opening gala paid Ontario Major Hockey League Division Championtribute to a hockey musical. ship banner. Additional banners hung over a food station at the end of the room, where servers offered pizza and Caesar salad to guests, and In a nod to Score: A Hockey TORONTO Musical—the opening night ﬁlm hockey jerseys from the ﬁlm were suspended from the rafters. at the 35th annual Toronto International Film In the Governor’s Room, a massive banner Festival—organizers of the festival’s opening reading, “Hockey is air, hockey is water, hockey night gala on September 9 ﬁlled the Liberty is life,” hung from the ceiling and Grand with concession stand Iceculture displayed a 16-foot ice fare (hot dogs and popcorn) and Toronto International sculpture shaped like a hockey rink memorabilia (jerseys, pennants, and Film Festival Opening and dubbed it the TIFF Shooter Bar. hockey pucks) reminiscent of a small Night Party The sculpture, which served as a tatown hockey arena. Catering Liberty Grand ble, held 144 shot glasses ﬁlled with Barbara Hershenhorn of Party Catering Skyy Vodka. Servers dressed in black Barbara Co. planned and produced Dance Floor, Signage National Sign & Design and white costumes reminiscent of the event, which drew 3,000 guests, Group Inc. referee outﬁts ﬂanked either side of including Olivia Newton John and Design, Event the table. Nelly Furtado, both of whom star Management, Production “We tried to scale it down as in the ﬁlm. Walter Gretzky, who has Party Barbara Co. DJ Jojo Flores much as you’d scale it down in a a cameo, also attended, posing for Furniture Rentals small town hockey arena,” said photographers on a bright orange Furnishings by Corey Hershenhorn, who worked with carpet (the colour of the TIFF logo) Ice Sculpture Iceculture Inc. the Liberty Group to design a menu outside the venue. Audiovisual Production, appropriate for a hockey crowd. The In an effort to replicate an arena, Lighting Event Services Group selection included Philly cheese Hershenhorn worked with McWood Props McWood Studios steak sandwiches, all-beef grilled Studios and National Sign & Design Rentals Chair-man Mills Kosher hot dogs, a poutine station, Group to turn the Artifacts Room Security Star Security Stafﬁng, Venue Liberty pizza, and Caesar salad. Dessert ininto a pseudo ice rink. “The dance Grand Entertainment cluded chocolate hockey pucks and ﬂoor looked like a hockey rink with Complex funnel cakes. —Susan O’Neill centre ice and the blue lines. And
PHOTOS: GARY BEECHEY FOR BIZBASH
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A so-called “candy garden” offered treats ranging from See’s chocolates to gumdrops to miniature cones stuffed with s’mores. Headliner Macy Gray closed the show. The show’s backdrop was a 40-footwide by 50-foot-tall LED screen. “It was the largest LED wall we’ve ever done in the show,” said Macy’s Mike Gansmoe.
productions include dance sequences while the Glamorama events offer a headline performer. At this year’s show, Macy Gray and Eric Hutchinson sang, and a high-energy dance number accompanied a presentation of the new Material Girl clothing line, an exclusive-toMacy’s collection that Madonna designed with her daughter, Lourdes. Dancers also appeared Macy’s gave Glamorama a new in front of a screen that showcased video-game name and bright, trippy look. characters doing the same steps, and the number promoted Kinect system for Xbox 360, which hit Macy’s annual fall fashion show and stores in November. CHICAGO after-party took place on August 13, While the Passport events have traditionally starting at the Chicago Theatre and continuing on included runway fashion shows, Glamorama preto the State Street ﬂagship store. Formerly known sentations take place on a proscenium stage. “The as Glamorama, “The event is now Macy’s Passport proscenium setting allows us to change the scenery in a split second,” Gansmoe Presents Glamorama,” said Mike Macy’s Passport said. “We can go to a blackout, and Gansmoe, the Minneapolis-based all of the sudden the lights come vice president of special productions Presents Glamorama up and it’s a completely different for the Macy’s Parade and Entertain- Audiovisual Production, look on the stage, which is part of Sound Plus One AV ment Group. “We took two of our Catering, Venue One the magic.” iconic fashion events—one of them Eleven Events/Macy’s The after-party, too, was “all being Glamorama, the other being Catering & Event Space about the magic,” said Frost dePassport—and melded them into Decor Bungalow 6 Design, signer Dennis Remer. “It was about Moss Inc. one over-the-top production.” creating overall environments that Macy’s Passport events have tra- Design, Lighting, Staging, Video Frost were magical and visually intriguditionally taken place in Los Angeles DJ DJ Rex ing for people. There was someand San Francisco, while Glamorama Entertainment Dennis thing happening everywhere you Watkins has been a signature production at looked.” Spread out over the store’s the store’s Minneapolis and Chicago Flowers Bukiety Inc. Linens BBJ Linen—Chicago seventh ﬂoor, the party offered a locations. To produce the hybrid Models Factor Women, variety of settings that took visual event, “We combined the [Macy’s] Ford Models, L.A. Models cues from everything from Avatar PR Liz Kores Public creative teams from San Francisco Relations, So Dressed Up to The Wizard of Oz and the ocean and the Midwest, and took the best Printing, Signage Lake ﬂoor; the archives area became elements from both shows to create Media Services Inc. what Remer described as a “trippy one uber-cool event,” Gansmoe said. Signage Graphix Shoppe poppy den.” —Jenny Berg Venue The Chicago Theatre He explained that Macy’s Passport
Frost designer Dennis Remer used illuminated pink ﬂowers to create what he called “a sort of trippy poppy den or a Jack and the Beanstalk experience.” In the Narcissus room, the inspiration was “under the sea,” Remer said. “Jellyﬁsh were hanging around, and there were projections of sublime aquatic videos.”
38 bizbash.com july/august 2010
PHOTOS: BARRY BRECHEISEN FOR BIZBASH
Out-of-the-ordinary details started with the location and concept. “In the spirit of all things unusual,” Hirst said, “we felt that asking bartenders to Hendrick’s Gin staged croquet put down their shakers and jigtournaments with a railroad-tycoon gers, and taking them away from dress code and cucumber trophies. their normal habitat—the bar— to pick up a mallet for a spot of According to Jun Hirst, senior brand competitive croquet would be a CHICAGO manager for Hendrick’s Gin at marvelously different way to sip William Grant & Sons, Hendrick’s is “the most un- Hendrick’s Gin cocktails.” usual gin in the world.” Handmade On Soldier The Salty Dogs Jazz Band of Chicago entertained. in Scotland, infused with rose Field’s Stadium Hendrick’s Gin petals and cucumbers, and stored Green, guests sipped mixed drinks Bartender Croquet in a dark, stout apothecary bottle, and ﬂowery gin punch from teaTournament the product ﬁrst became availcups and hollowed-out cucumbers. Catering Prime Food able in the United States 10 years Around them, croquet competitors Caterers Collateral, Invitations, ago. “One of the most important used branded mallets and vied for Signage Quaker City reasons for Hendrick’s success is the Hendrick’s trophy, which was Mercantile the fact that bartenders across the topped with a large cucumber. Decor, Event Management, land embraced our most unusual Also rather uncommon was the Stafﬁng Momentum Worldwide gin from the start,” Hirst said. dress code on the invitation, which Flowers Ronsley Special To thank its cocktail-mixing urged guests to “don your best Events clientele, the brand staged a multi- Furniture Rentals, Linens, railroad tycoon, Upton-Sinclair incity bartenders’ croquet tournaspired, Baroque, Rococo, Victorian, or Tenting Classic Party Rentals ment this summer and fall. The Edwardian garb.” Mixologists from Gifts Innerworkings event, which landed at Chicago’s venues such as Gilt Bar, Sable, and Photography Gopho Soldier Field on July 16 and was the Drawing Room came dressed in PR Maloney & Fox scheduled to wrap up in Austin on eclectic gear—everything from avia- Because the gin is infused with cucumbers and Props Zap Props Transportation Chicago November 8, intended to “bring to rose petals, ﬂower arrangements comprised tor caps to parasols—while event Trolley & Double Decker Co. life the world of Hendrick’s Gin,” staffers wore top hats, coattails, and bunches of red roses in tall vases ﬁlled with Venue Soldier Field Hirst said. cucumber slices. frilly bloomers. —Jenny Berg
PHOTOS: BEN GONZALES
Art from the Resnicks’ collection came to life by way of projections under the dinner tent.
Towering spheres of roses decorated dinner tables.
But perhaps the biggest attraction under the tent were the seamless projections, which rotated throughout the evening. MegaVision Arts created the content for the projections on the walls and ceiling of the tent, and the look was based on the Resnicks’ request to have their guests feel as if they were standing on the veranda of a Venetian palazzo, and to bring the art collection to life. At the Lacma Pavilion debut, projections Looks included an animated fresco, a sunset scene animated art under a dreamy dinner tent. with Venetian masks appearing on the walls, and a grand ﬁnale with There’s a renewed sense of heft projected ﬁreworks Lacma’s Resnick LOS ANGELES and vigor within Los Angeles’s synchronized to Pavilion Opening Gala art community, with big hoopla surrounding the music. The animated Catering Patina Group city’s institutions in recent years. Adding to that ceiling used 24 highCreative Direction, air of importance is the Los Angeles County Muse- powered digital Design, Production J. Ben Bourgeois Productions um of Art’s new Lynda & Stewart Resnick Exhibiprojectors blended Flowers James Romolo tion Pavilion, made possible by funding from that together to create a Furniture Rentals Luxe philanthropic family. The new space, designed by seamless 130- by 130Event Rentals & Decor architect Renzo Piano, opened with a masquerade foot overhead canvas. Greens, Hedging Jackson Shrub Supply Inc. gala on September 25 for 1,000 guests. The same techniques HVAC, Staging Special Lacma C.E.O. and Wallis Annenberg direcpainted full-motion Event Contractors tor Michael Govan, president Melody Kanschat, moving scenery on Orchestra, Ancillary and vice president of development Terry Morello the 130- by 35-foot Entertainers Lynne Gordon Entertainment oversaw the event under the ever-watchful eye of fabric-covered Permits Jimmy’s Permit Lynda Resnick herself. tent walls. Services Building the evening’s drama early, guests Immediately PR PMK-BNC entered the gala upon a red carpet that snaked following the gala’s Projection, Content MegaVision Arts through Chris Burden’s “Urban Light” sculpture— close, glitter-covLighting, Projectionist, the lamppost art installation off Wilshire Bouleered guests made Projectors, Technical vard—where a troupe of entertainers in Venetian their way back to Direction Brite Ideas costume danced to a live pianist. They moved the Resnick PavilRentals, Tenting Classic Party Rentals next into the galleries, where the three inaugural ion for the Ultimat Draping, Scenic Rock exhibitions were open for view. Vodka- and Moët & Steady Productions Next, guests moved into the tent, where Chandon-sponsored Security, Venue Los Angeles they sat for dinner by Patina Catering at Lacma “Avant-Garde AfterCounty Museum Of Art Sound Westcoast Sound and entertainment by the Canadian Tenors. The Party,” where the Inc. evening’s grand ﬁnale performance came from Chapin Sisters perValet Athena Parking, Christina Aguilera, who belted hits “Beautiful” formed. Z Valet and “Fighter.” —Alesandra Dubin
Guests entered the gala on a red carpet that snaked through the “Urban Light” sculpture by Chris Burden, where entertainers in Venetian costume danced to a live pianist.
Christina Aguilera performed with an orchestra.
40 bizbash.com winter 2010–11
PHOTOS: LINE 8 PHOTOGRAPHY
hicago’s ultimate venue is getting even cooler! Come Spring 2011, the elegant, historic and glamorous Chicago Union Station will be airconditioned! The magniﬁcent Great Hall at Chicago Union Station offers a private 20,000-square-foot space lined with marble ﬂoors and Corinthian columns, and crowned with a spectacular ﬁve-story atrium ceiling.
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MK served snow cones with market fruit syrups. Instead of a traditional table, the restaurant used an ice cream truck for its tasting station.
Sixteen’s sandwiches were stuffed with barbecued short ribs, Asian slaw, and pickled beet puree. Rick Bayless—the chef behind Frontera Grill, Topolobampo, and Xoco—served grilled pork belly tacos that incorporated ingredients from Midwestern farms.
Chefs from Sixteen at the Trump Tower Chicago grilled giant loaves of bread for sandwiches.
NoMi chefs roasted TJ’s freerange poultry for beer can chicken.
42 bizbash.com july/august 2010
The Green City Market fund-raiser expanded with more guests, chefs, and sponsors. On July 15, approximately 2,000 guests—many armed with trays— lined the fence outside Lincoln Park’s Green City Market for the Chef’s Barbecue, which raised $210,000 for the organization. “It was certainly intimidating when guests ﬁrst arrived at the event,” said the market’s executive director, Lyle Allen, who added that last year’s event drew closer to 1,800 guests. “But we got everyone in within 15 minutes, so we really have the procedures in place to accommodate such a large crowd.” Along with a higher guest count, this year’s walk-around tasting had more restaurant participants than last year. With stations from approximately 90 local eateries and bars, Allen estimated that participation was up by 20 to 25 percent. “It speaks to the general movement that’s going on in Chicago,” he said. “People are becoming very interested in local food sources, and chefs are leading the way with that. There’s no other city in the country that has such a connection between chefs and farmers, and more and more [Chicagobased] chefs are developing partnerships with farmers.” Such partnerships were evident in the evening’s menu, which offered foods that local chefs prepared with ingredients from the market. Snacks included watermelon-tomato kebabs with grilled pork belly from Boka Restaurant Group, Chilam Balam’s squash-blossom quesadillas with jack cheese and spicy Heirloom tomato salsa, and pig cheeks with grilled peaches and pickled peppers from Sugar Toad. (“I feel my pork-to-blood ratio rising,” one guest commented.) In the cocktail tent, local mixologists also made use of market goods, whipping up drinks with ingredients that ranged from strawberryrhubarb syrup to sage leaves and local honey. Other changes included a V.I.P. area replete with Tablescapes lounge furniture, waiter service from Limelight Catering, and tasting stations from high-end establishments like Naha and the Four Seasons Hotel. “We really wanted to raise the V.I.P. component up a notch this year,” Allen said. “This is the ﬁrst year we saw really signiﬁcant sponsors sign Green City Market’s on, so we wanted to Chef’s BBQ create a very inviting experience for Catering, Event Management, Production, those guests.” BackStafﬁng Limelight ers included Wirtz DJ, Sound Fig Media Inc. Beverage Illinois, Furniture Rentals, Linens, the Chicago Park Rentals Tablescapes Party Rentals District, Organic ValInvitations, Signage Dot ley, Hinkley Springs, Press and Intelligentsia. PR Grapevine Public —Jenny Berg Relations
PHOTOS: PAUL STRABBING
The event was held in Lincoln Park, the home of the Green City Market on summer Wednesdays and Saturdays.
PHOTOS: AVIRAN LEVY FOR BIZBASH
Tabletops were covered with boldcolored linens and glasses, candlelit iron lanterns, and stacks of plates for shareable appetizers.
Mass Generalâ€™s Storybook Ball returned with an Aladdin theme. The Park Plaza Castle went from raw space to magic-carpet ride on October 2, as Mass General Hospital for Children returned to the venue for its 11th annual Storybook Ball after a one-year hiatus. The event brought with it an over-the-top Aladdin theme. More than 450 guests entered the castle to an Arabian bazaarâ€”designed by Rafanelli Events creative director Billy Eversâ€”where attention to detail was apparent, from the bold-colored linens to servers wearing fezzes and carrying Middle EasternDancers themed hors dâ€™oeuvres from performed Max Ultimate Food. in Aladdinâ€œFor a space like this, inspired you have to go with scale for costumes. impact,â€? said Evers. â€œLittle jewels on the table arenâ€™t going to have the same impact as huge, real palm trees on the edge of the dance ďŹ‚oor. Rather than do ďŹ‚orals everywhere, we created effects with scaleâ€”like huge palm trees.â€? Evers and his team
also created the illusion of a dropped ceiling by draping hot pink and orange fabric panels about 30 feet from the actual ceiling. To further solidify the spice-market vibe, rows of globe lights and ďŹ ve-foot iron lanterns ďŹ lled with candles accented the ceiling. The cocktail hour gave guests a chance to try specialty drinks with names like the Magic Lamp, Prince Ali, and Rosie Dream. Guests also Mass General got to play games Hospital for Childrenâ€™s sponsored by Sports Storybook Ball Club/LA, Jonathan Audiovisual Production Adler, Barneys New AVFX Inc. York, Neiman Marcus, Catering Max Ultimate Food among others, who Design, Production also provided prizes. Rafanelli Events Following a threeDJ, Entertainment Klass Entertainment course dinner by Max Ultimate Food, guests Draping Rose Designs Entertainment Creative heard from a former Event Services MGH for Children Flowers Winston Flowers Lighting Port Lighting patient about the Sytems treatment that saved Photobooth Michael her life. Next up was Blanchard Photography Boston funnyman Rentals Be Our Guest Inc. Rentals, Security Peterson Lenny Clarke, who Party Center donned a gold turban Rentals Rentals Unlimited to play auctioneer. Signage Seaport Graphics Guests then took to Staging United Staging and Rigging the dance ďŹ‚oor for the remainder of the eve- Venue The Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers ning. â€”Erin L. Souza
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Eight models participated in the fashion show.
At the center of the Parkway, a skirted platform held a gazebo area with hanging ﬂowers and candles, ivy, copper pots, and a fountain.
producers called in the cheerleaders, break dancers, ballerinas, and—oh, yes—human pinwheels and butterﬂies on roller blades. Throughout the evening, activities and entertainment took place in all three pavilions. In the The sandwich company’s postClubway, fake paparazzi snapped photos of guests conference gala featured models, break and the ballerina and the break dancer went dancers, and rollerskating butterﬂies. head-to-head in a staged dance-off. Runway fashion shows, called “Project “Eat Fresh” is Subway’s well-known Subway,” showcased models in garb made out CHICAGO tagline. So when the sandwich com- of the company’s packaging materials. An M.C. pany hosted a gala on the last night of its annual provided tongue-in-cheek commentary. “This next convention in July, planners went for creation,” he said, “uses all recycled Subway’s “Celebrate a “fresh buzz” vibe. Joel Whitten, the material and is inspired by the Subway” Convention Connecticut-based meetings and foot-long chicken breast sandwich, Audiovisual Production, event manager at Subway Franon wheat, with extra Southwest Lighting, Sound InVNT chise World Headquarters, tapped sauce. Very spicy.” Catering Chicago destination management company In the Parkway, mimes, jugRestaurant Partners In the Loop-Chicago to produce the glers, and a rollerskating butterﬂy Decor Ivan Carlson & Associates happening, which drew some 3,500 circulated while a cellist played DJ DJ Dave Alvarez guests to the Skyline Ballroom at classical music and three chalk Entertainment Chicago McCormick Place. artists drew colorful patterns on a Boyz Acrobatic Team, How does one bring a fresh, fake sidewalk. Meanwhile, outside Collaboraction, Custom Comedy Capers, Right On energizing atmosphere to a conventhe Subway Stadium, cheerleaders Band tion center ballroom? In the Loop chanted “Go subs, go.” Inside the Event Management In the built three thematic pavilions—the sporty space, which was stocked Loop-Chicago Clubway, the Parkway, and Subway with foosball tables and arcade Game Rentals Amusement Masters Stadium—to evoke, respectively, an games, acrobats and double-dutch Photography Kardas energetic dance party, a whimsical jump ropers performed. Photography park, and a sports stadium. Then, —Jenny Berg
PHOTOS: KARDAS PHOTOGRAPHY
Ten-foot-tall glowing pillars surrounded the area known as the “Clubway.”
Decor in the Clubway included yellow, green, and orange glow spheres atop fabricskirted platforms. The color scheme nodded to the hues of the Subway logo.
Right On Band performed ’70s hits in the Clubway.
bizbash.com july/august 2010 45
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PHOTOS: COURTESY OF WASHINGTON TALENT, PHOTO AND VIDEO
With temperatures reaching into the 90s and a tense political Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor Rally atmosphere due to drew more than 300,000 to the Beck’s and guest speaker Sarah PaLincoln Memorial. lin’s political views, health and security Glenn Beck may wear his WASHINGTON politics on his sleeve during his were the biggest primetime talk show and his many other appear- concerns for planners. Although ances, but on August 28 he put politics aside for his Restoring Honor rally at the Lincoln Memorial. security concerns never became a Purportedly designed to honor our armed forces factor and the and celebrate American values, the event drew The stage was set at the base of the Lincoln Memorial, which provided more than 300,000 people from across the coun- speakers stayed a picturesque background for the more than 300,000 attendees. try. During its peak, the crowd stretched from the true to their nosteps of the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington politics mandate, the nine medical stations saw Monument, ﬁlling the area around the Reﬂecting plenty of action from heat-related issues. In an attempt to control any widespread heat issues, the Pool as well as adjacent ﬁelds. producers handed out more than 75,000 bottles To help oversee and plan the rally, Beck and his team tapped CSI—Capitol Services’ senior op- of water and set up nine cooling stations to keep erations manager Kelley Gillespie. A veteran plan- the crowd cool and hydrated. Another challenge was ﬁnding ner with several large-scale events on a way to keep the massive crowd the Mall under her belt, the Restoring Restoring Honor Rally organized. Working with the NaHonor rally marked the largest event Catering Design Cuisine Caterers tional Park Service and Park Police, she has produced. Gillespie and her Event Management organizers divided the area into team of 30 planners worked for nearCSI—Capitol Services Inc. eight safety zones. The space in ly a year to plan the four-hour rally, Production National Events between the zones allowed for limL.L.C. which required more than 40 pages Rentals DC Rental ited mobility and secured space for of permits, a production crew of 150, Tenting Capital Party Glenn Beck offered the each of the nine LED walls provided a six-day setup, and the assistance of Rentals opening and closing remarks. by Video Walltronics. —T.J. Walter 11 police and government agencies.
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