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BIZBASH MIAMI

EVENTS MEETINGS MARKETING STYLE STRATEGY Miami/South Florida IDEAS

$4.95 WINTER 2010–11 BIZBASH.COM

WINTER 2010–11

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rs, e v o e k t Ma r a m S es, h c n u a nt L to Steal e v E , s rend s & Ideas T s ’ r a The Ye s Campaign ou Ambiti

PLUS: Sponsor Integrations, Holiday Party Bites, Stylish Stages, Twitter Skepticism, 20 New Venues, Planners’ Favorite Trends & More


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MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA Volume 8, Issue 4 Winter 2010-11 © 2010 BizBash Media

PHOTOS: ROBIN HILL

On November 6, the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida and the InterContinental Hotel Miami celebrated the 16th anniversary of their annual fund-raiser with an Asian-inspired theme. Models styled as modern geishas greeted guests on the red carpet, while a ribbon dancer performed on the mezzanine. Twenty live taiko drummers entertained during the cocktail reception. A giant, artificial cherry-blossom tree with changing LED lights served as the centerpiece of the mezzanine. In contrast to the bright red and orange used on the mezzanine to symbolize ancient tradition, the motif for the ballroom was a modern city like Tokyo. The event drew 850 guests and raised $900,000. More photos and details are on BizBash.com.

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

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FROM THE EDITORS Tracking the year’s trends

READERS’ FORUM 9 What was the best idea you saw in 2010?

36 St. Thomas Aquinas High School’s sparkly anniversary gala 38 RazzleDazzle Barbershop’s 1940s-themed grand opening 39 Big Brothers Big Sisters’ homecoming theme 40 From Orlando: A.A.R.P.’s on- and off-line conference 42 From Toronto: The film festival’s opening-night hockey-themed party 43 From Orlando: The Special Olympics’ travel-focused auction

THE SCOUT 13 Wintry curtains made of ice 14 Passed bites for holiday gatherings 15 Festive glasses and small plates for rent 16 A Miami-based design and production firm 18 Innovative ideas for stage design 19 What are clever ways to integrate trade show sponsors? 20 11 ideas and products to have on your radar

THE DIRECTORY 62 New venues

VENUES 22 Five new South Florida venues

TED KRUCKEL 64 The limits of social media

EVENT REPORTS 28 Jones magazine’s three-day event 30 From Chicago: Subway postconference gala’s three fresh pavilions 31 Ed Morse Automotive’s Treasure Island-themed incentive party 32 From Boston: Mass General Hospital for Children’s Aladdinthemed Storybook Ball 33 From Washington: Glenn Beck’s 300,000-person Restoring Honor rally 34 From Los Angeles: The Lacma Resnick Pavilion’s dreamy debut 35 From Orlando: Sanford Burnham’s game-filled benefit

47 Best of 2010 The top trends, ideas, designs, and events that shaped this year

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


From the Editors

In the Trend Trenches

PHOTOS: MELISSA HORN (ACE HOTEL), MICHAEL TOOLAN (THRILLIST PARTY)

How do you sum up a year? 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


BIZBASH 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

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 INTERN Jessica Flores

CONTRIBUTORS EDITOR AT LARGE Ted Kruckel WRITER AT LARGE, LOS ANGELES Irene Lacher CONTRIBUTING EDITORS D. Channing Muller, Michael O’Connell, Mimi O’Connor, Angie Romero, 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: edit@bizbash.com Event Invitations, Press Releases: nyevents@bizbash.com Directory Listings: listings@bizbash.com Subscription Inquiries: 646.839.6835, subscriptions@bizbash.com New Subscriptions: bizbash.com/subscribe Subscription Renewals: bizbash.com/renew Reprints: Dani Rose, The YGS Group 800.494.9051 ext. 125, bizbash@theygsgroup.com BIZBASH MASTERPLANNER CHAIRMAN Elisabeth Familian NEW YORK EDITOR Alexandra Anza LOS ANGELES EDITOR Leslee Komaiko

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 & MARKETING Robert Fitzgerald CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER David Micciulla

MARKETING MARKETING MANAGER Aram Fischer MARKETING ASSISTANT Michael Marvin

PRODUCTION & AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR OF PRODUCTION & AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT Rebecca Pappas AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT MANAGER William O’Driscoll ONLINE PRODUCTION MANAGER Matthew Molnar CUSTOMER SERVICE/AD TRAFFIC COORDINATOR Anne Kiefer

EVENTS SENIOR EVENTS MANAGER Sheryl Olaskowitz

OPERATIONS VICE PRESIDENT, CONTROLLER David Levine STAFF ACCOUNTANT Shahla Nas SENIOR DEVELOPER Wei Zheng ASSISTANT TO THE C.E.O. Missy Goldberg

BIZBASH NEW YORK 646.638.3600, fax: 646.638.3601 PUBLISHER Jacqueline Gould ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Lauren Stonecipher ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Erica Fand, Kristie Hudson

BIZBASH BOSTON 617.340.3914 ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Andrew Carlin BIZBASH CHICAGO 312.436.2525 PUBLISHER Susan Babin ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Julia Kearney

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BIZBASH TORONTO ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Joshua Harris BIZBASH WASHINGTON 202.684.8743 PUBLISHER Shelley Golinsky MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA ADVISORY BOARD Larry Carrino, PARTNER, BRUSTMAN CARRINO PUBLIC RELATIONS; Jennifer Diliz, DIRECTOR OF FOUNDATION DEVELOPMENT, FLORIDA MARLINS; Lori Elsbree, SENIOR EVENT STRATEGIST, BAPTIST HEALTH FOUNDATION; Lauren Halpern, MEETING & EVENT PLANNER, DECO PRODUCTIONS INC./GRANDE AFFAIRES INC.; Susan Holtzman, PRESIDENT, EVENTURES; Wendy Kallergis, PRESIDENT/C.E.O. GREATER MIAMI & THE BEACHES HOTEL ASSOCIATION; Gerry Kelly, PRESIDENT, MI-VI AT GULFSTREAM PARK & CASINO; Anita Mattner, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF EVENTS MANAGEMENT, UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI; Billy Melnyk, EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING MANAGER, BACARDI; Mona Meretsky, PRESIDENT, COMCOR EVENT AND MEETING PRODUCTION INC. AND COMCOR CONSULTING SERVICES INC.; Kelly Murphy, GENERAL MANAGER, PANACHE, A CLASSIC PARTY RENTAL COMPANY; Bruce Orosz, PRESIDENT, ACT PRODUCTIONS; Steven Pollock, MANAGER, GLOBAL ACCOUNTS, HELMSBRISCOE; Lee Schrager, VICE PRESIDENT OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS AND NATIONAL EVENTS, SOUTHERN WINE & SPIRITS; Craig Skilling, PROGRAM COORDINATOR/INSTRUCTOR, DEPARTMENT OF SPORTS/ENTERTAINMENT/EVENT MANAGEMENT, JOHNSON & WALES UNIVERSITY; Debbie Spiegelman, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MIAMI CHILDREN’S MUSEUM; Tracy Wallach, SENIOR MEETINGS & SPECIAL EVENT PLANNER, SOUTHEAST TOYOTA DISTRIBUTORS L.L.C.

Marketing and Advertising Programs: sales@bizbash.com ®2010 BIZBASH IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF BIZBASH MEDIA INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION WHOLE OR IN PART WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED.


Readers’ Forum

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


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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? It’s going to get worse before it gets better.

We’re fully recovered and back to normal.

3% 4%

20% 32%

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.

Are you haggling over prices more or less now (September 2010) than you were a year ago (September 2009)? Haggling less

Haggling more 10% 35%

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.

2% 17%

27%

54% I’m cautiously optimistic.

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


New World Center Welcome to the home of the New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy, located in the heart of Miami Beach. Designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, this musical meeting house is easily accessible from area airports and dining and shopping options on South Beach’s famed Lincoln Road. Its stimulating architecture and breathtaking water views are the perfect, flexible backdrop for your reception, meeting or special event. Call 305-428-6741 or email rentals@nws.edu for booking information.


PHOTO: LIN AND JIRSA PHOTOGRAPHY

The Scout

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

13 bizbash.com winter 2010–2011

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

14

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.


For Rent

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 Cdn., available in Toronto from Chair-Man Mills (416.391.0400, chair manmills.com)

Mini fry basket, $2 Cdn., available in Toronto from Exclusive Affair Rentals (416.759.2611, exclusiveaffair.com)

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF VENDORS

Seven-inch oyster plate, pricing varies, available nationwide from Classic Party Rentals

Teardrop spoon, $1.75 Cdn., available in Toronto from Chair-Man Mills

Small Plates

Mini leaf plate, 55 cents, available throughout South Florida from Atlas Party Rental (561.547.6565, atlaspartyrental.com)

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

bizbash.com winter 2010–11 15


Fresh Face

Sammy Caban

DESIGN AND CONQUER DJ-turned-designer Sammy Caban recently relocated his company to Miami, where he’s taken a bite out of the corporate market with his decor and production services. Sammy Caban got his start in the event industry as a DJ in Puerto Rico. Caban expanded his hobby into a business by hiring two other DJs and forming Astro Music in 1981. After a two-year stint as electronics professor at the Puerto Rico School of Technology, he shifted gears in 1989, when he was awarded a job designing the lighting and staging for the Festival Las Eriollas. After researching the local competition, Caban launched lighting company Show Designers that year. From there, the business grew rapidly and the company increased its offerings to audiovisual services, laser displays, event design and decor, and soon thereafter a full-service, 10,000-squarefoot production house. “With my strong technical background I was able to add new services pretty quickly,” says Caban. “My philosophy while designing events has always been to integrate the most advanced technology with designs that are functional, aesthetically pleasing, and safe.” While earning a degree in computer engineering at the University of Puerto Rico, he worked at a San Juan radio station and spun at parties on weekends. The company, now called Sammy Caban Design and Production (305.407.9800, sammycaban.com),

Caban produced a tropical-themed event for the Caribbean Tourism Organization.

16 bizbash.com winter 2010–11

continued to grow with the opening of a second office in Orlando in 2004. There, Caban focused primarily on nonprofit and association events, which made up about half of his work, while trying to expand his corporate business—a goal that prompted the move of his office and 3,000-squarefoot warehouse to Miami in February 2010. “I like to do events that have more to do with branding and marketing products than the standard meeting, and Miami is a much better market for that type of event,” says Caban, adding that his corporate business has increased by nearly 20 percent since moving. The relocation made him convenient to clients in both Orlando and Puerto Rico, thereby increasing his event base. Hialeah-based Spanish language television network Telemundo Network Group L.L.C. hired him to design the V.I.P. and interview areas for the 2010 Latin Billboard Awards, which moved from Miami to Puerto Rico this year. Caban used white draping, red sofas, and gold decor accents to decorate the space with the network’s chosen color scheme for the night. One of his newest Miami clients is Came Americas, a manufacturer of automated access control products. Caban designed and built a multilevel trade show booth in just three months for the company’s exhibition at the American Fence Association’s FenceTech conference earlier this year. “He gave us ideas on how to better show our product at trade shows,” says Louis Moreno, U.S. technical department supervisor at Came Americas, who hired Caban. “Everything was [completed] on time, which was important, as we gave him short notice to come up with it.” —D. Channing Muller

Event-Friendly Animals The Zoological Wildlife Foundation (305.969.3696, zoologicalwildlifefoundation.com) provides exotic animals—from anteaters to zebras—for event appearances. The zoo has 20 species available, including reptiles, warthogs, capuchin monkeys, and big cats. Many, like E NTE RTA I N M E NT the whitehanded gibbon, can pose for photos. Larger animals may need to be held by handlers or stay in a cage. The foundation is fully insured and licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. —D.C.M. Adam Forman of reality TV show LA Ink designed the truck’s graphics.

FUSION FOOD ON WHEELS Sakaya Kitchen’s Dim Ssäm à Gogo truck (sakayakitchen.com) serves a mix of Asian and Latin food out of a custom graffiti-riddled vehicle. The truck has its own menu—including lots of pork, as represented in the truck’s exterior’s graphics—but also serves the restaurant’s CATE R I NG signature dishes, such as popcorn shrimp and lettuce wraps filled with fried squid. Cookies and specialty pretzels are available for dessert. Rental prices start at $300 per hour, with a three-hour minimum during most times. —D.C.M.

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF THE ZOOLOGICAL WILDLIFE FOUNDATION, COURTESY OF DIM SSAM A GOGO, COURTESY OF SAMMY CABAN (CARIBBEAN EVENT), GARY JAMES FOR BIZBASH (SAMMY CABAN, LOCATION: VICEROY HOTEL MIAMI)

White-handed gibbons are available for appearances.


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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.

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.

18 bizbash.com winter 2010–11

At Marc Jacobs’s spring 2011 show, a lamp-shade-shaped bronze structure acted as the entrance to the catwalk.

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.

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)

Idea File

The MTV Movie Awards in June had a dynamic set with layered projection screens designed by Consortium Studios and lit by Triphoton City.


What are clever ways to integrate trade show sponsors? 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

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-

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF BLOGHER, COURTESY OF CHARITYHAPPENINGS, COURTESY OF FWR RENTAL HAUS

Ask BizBash

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

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.

bizbash.com winter 2010–11 19


Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s A Better Way bizbash.com/jobboard The Best Job Board in the Business FIND JOBS / POST JOBS / GET BACK TO WORK


Forecast Ideas, products, and just plain cool stuff to have on your radar. By LISA CERICOLA

1.

2.

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.

3.

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.

4.

5.

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.

6.

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.

7.

The long-gestating Broadway show SpiderMan: Turn Off the Dark (spidermanonbroadway. 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:

9.

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 21


A One-Stop Shop for Casual Entertaining Wine Depot & Bistro 555, an allin-one wine store, wine bar, and bistro, opened in November. The warehouse-style building is divided into two main areas: an indoor, 6,700-square-foot space that can seat 90, and a 2,250-square-foot patio that can seat 150. The indoor area houses the main retail section, with more than 40 wine racks displaying some 400 wines and champagnes. Guests have their choice of picking a bottle from the racks or ordering wine by the glass— making the space a good setting for one-on-one business entertaining or small groups. The bar can seat 18. The 250-square-foot Vintage Room private cellar is equipped with a large flat-screen TV. It can seat 14 and can be used for unconventional business presentations. (555 Jefferson Ave., Miami Beach, 305.672.6161)

By D. CHANNING MULLER & ANGIE ROMERO

22 bizbash.com winter 2010–2011

After three years of construction, the Robert and Judi Prokop Newman Alumni Center opened on the University of Miami’s Coral Gables campus in October. The 72,000square-foot building, which houses the university’s alumni relations department, can be booked for private events by alumni and nonalums alike. The 7,273-square-foot multipurpose room is the largest space, seating 300 or hosting as many as 500 people for a reception. Meetings for 35 can be held in the executive conference room, which is equipped with videoconferencing technology. Other spaces include the lobby, which holds 80; the Dany Garcia and Dwayne Johnson Living Room, which holds 135; and a small library. (6200 San Amaro Drive, Suite 200, Coral Gables, 305.284.2872)

A Renovated Eatery From a Top Chef Season seven Top Chef contestant Andrea CurtoRandazzo and her husband, Frank, are the chefs behind North Miami Beach’s newly revamped restaurant the Water Club, which opened in May. The 12,750-squarefoot eatery has a 106-seat main dining room, an 88-seat lower dining room, and a 58-seat main bar. If privacy is needed, the wine cellar, home to more than 150 varieties, and its adjacent lounge can seat 48 for dining or a tasting coordinated by the sommelier. Smaller parties of 14 can also use the private dining room off the main bar. The 13,000-square-foot pool and deck area has seating for 358 people. (3969 NE 163rd St., North Miami Beach, 305.944.8411)

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF WINE DEPOT & BISTRO 555, COURTESY OF UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI, BILL KEARNEY/THRILLIST (WATER CLUB), COURTESY OF SOHO BEACH HOUSE, COURTESY OF POSITANO

Venues

An On-Campus Conference Space


A British Import London-based brand Soho House opened its third North American property, Soho Beach House, in October. The oceanfront property combines aspects of a private club, 50-room hotel, and spa, with areas open to nonmembers for hosting events of 22 to 150 people. The drawing room is home to a selection of works from the Soho House art collection. The space is ideally suited for small business meetings, lunches catered by in-house restaurant Cecconi’s, or post-work cocktails. For smaller groups, the Screening Snug movie theater can seat 22 on sofas for a private film screening. There is also a pool deck with room for 75, a library that holds 50, and a penthouse with a rooftop terrace and space for 60 guests. (4385 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 786.507.7900)

A Working-Lunch Destination Positano Ristorante opened in Doral in July serving classic Italian cuisine. The restaurant is decorated in a geometric style, with dark wood and white elements. The dining room can seat 92 amid a mixture of booths and four-top tables. There’s also a patio seating 22. The menu is comprised of classic Italian dishes, including various meat and fish carpaccios as starters, main courses like linguine carbonara and tortellini panna and prosciutto, and tiramisu, panna cotta, and ricottina for dessert. (2475 NW 95th Ave., Suite 10, Doral, 305.594.2828)

ON BIZBASH.COM Our comprehensive venue directory


Save the Date for BizBash Florida’s Supersized Expo!

EXPO & AWARDS Florida / Fort Lauderdale Convention Center / April 12, 2011 Join more than 1,400 event and meeting professionals for the state’s largest event showcase at the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center on Tuesday, April 12, 2011. For more information, visit bizbash.com/southflorida/tradeshow

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FLORIDA’S FIRST EVENT STYLE AWARDS

ALL NEW READERS’ CHOICE AWARDS

bizbash.com/flvotes BizBash is bringing its renowned Event Style Awards to Florida for the first time ever! The event, product, or venue you are working on right now could receive industry recognition as a winner in one or more of 16 categories: Best Catering at an Event Best Corporation or Association Event Concept (Budget Over $50,000) Best Corporation or Association Event Concept (Budget Under $50,000) Best Entertainment Program Best Event Decor (Budget Over $50,000) Best Event Decor (Budget Under $50,000)

BizBash Florida is introducing an innovative new way to honor the local event industry—but we’re not picking the winners … you are! Nominate industry professionals (or yourself!), and then vote on them, in 10 categories:

Best Invitation Design

DJ of the Year

Best Lighting Design

Event Caterer of the Year

Best New Product

Nonprofit/Association Event Planner of the Year Publicist/PR Executive of the Year

Best New Venue

Event Designer of the Year

Best Nonprofit Event Concept

Event Producer of the Year

Best PR Stunt or Guerilla Marketing Campaign

Lighting Designer of the Year

Best Staging and Set Design

Accepting nominations: February 28 - March 11 Finalist voting open: March 21 - March 31

Best Use of Social Media for an Event

For more information, visit bizbash.com/flvotes

Social Event Planner of the Year Venue Manager of the Year

Best Use of Technology

Best Green Initiative for an Event The online submission site opens Tuesday, January 4, 2011. For more information, visit bizbash.com/ southflorida/eventstyleawards

The winners of the 2011 BizBash Event Style Awards and Readers’ Choice Awards will be announced at the BizBash Florida Expo & Awards on Tuesday, April 12, 2011, at 5 p.m. on the main stage.


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School Spirit At St. Thomas Aquinas High Schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 75th anniversary gala, the sparkle theme continued to the tables, which had underlays of light grey satin with silver sequins and twotone napkins in silver and charcoal gray. More about the event is on page 36.

27


In an effort to boost sales during Miami Fashion Fest, several of the participating stores offered special discounts

Saks Fifth Avenue served bites and libations as part of its in-store Giorgio Armani event.

Nicole Miller’s Miami Beach boutique offered a special in-store event with Bellinis and cookies.

Community Building Jones magazine combined fashion, beauty, and philanthropy at its first “Meet Me in Miami” event. Jones magazine, the lifestyle publication aimed at African American women, launched its “Meet Me in Miami” event series on October 21 at the Hilton Bentley Hotel. The threeday event for women interested in fashion, beauty, and giving back to their community consisted of several activities, including spa retreats, skin-care clinics, yoga classes, empowerment workshops, runway shows, and special in-store promotions aimed at boosting sales during Miami Fashion Fest. Through destination management company Minority Travel Group, a combination of 80 locals and visitors booked their choice of full weekend packages, individual day passes, or single event tickets. The weekend served as a coming-out party for Jones, which, according to publisher and entertainment attorney L. Londell McMillan, aims to “compete with Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, and be better

MIAMI

Local, church-affiliated organization She Got Power! Enterprises decorated and greeted guests at an empowerment luncheon.

than Elle.” The magazine started off as a regional publication in Houston in 2005 and went national in April. “One of the things we’ve been talking about as a brand is how to give an excursion-type experience to our consumers, and with Fashion Fest happening in Miami, it was the perfect opportunity for people from the fashion, beauty, and wellness arena to come together in a fun kind of way,” said Michelle Jones, South Florida representative for the magazine’s parent company, the NorthStar Group, and the event’s main planner. In addition to obtaining sponsorships of $3,500 to $10,000 from luxury brands such as Nicole Miller, Saks Fifth Avenue, and the Hilton Bentley, Jones had help from several Miami-based charities that pitched in to run operations on the ground. “We really wanted to touch on the whole woman and this idea that beauty is not only on the outside, it’s also in the inside,” said Jones. “That’s why we had a big philanthropic push and every activity had this give-back component.” During the nighttime “Beauty of Philanthropy” event at the Hilton Bentley on October 22, for instance, the magazine honored Byron Lars, who has dressed First Lady Michelle Obama, and asked him to style girls from Handy, an organization assisting foster children in the Broward County area. In total, Jones estimated the philanthropic push raised about $40,000, which will go toward the different charities involved.

PHOTOS: MARCELLUS JOHNSON/NLPG IMAGES

Several N.B.A. players’ children walked the runway during the “Fashion for a Cause” party at the Bass Museum of Art.


A percentage of the shoe sales at Megan Miller’s store went toward the She Market Inc., a local charity benefiting at-risk women and girls. Deborah Cox was the featured entertainer for the closing-night “Fashion for a Cause” party at the Bass Museum of Art.

Giorgio Armani makeup designer Francisco Zacarias gave attendees tips during an in-store event at Saks Fifth Avenue in Bal Harbour. Despite the positive feedback Jones said she received, it wasn’t a perfect weekend. One challenge resulted from cramming too many activities into short blocks of time, causing the overall itinerary to run behind schedule. “Next year we definitely need to allow the women more time to shop,” said Jones. She also stated that next year, the magazine will need more than the 90 days of planning time allotted this time around: “We really needed more time to promote it and market it the way it needed to be promoted and marketed.” The weekend came to a close with a block party in Miami’s design district on October Jones’s “Meet Me in 24. The day kicked off Miami” Event with a “Bon Voyage” Catering De Rodriguez brunch at Italian eatOcean Catering, Venue MaiTardi ery Mai Tardi and culDecor She Got Power! minated with a local Enterprises, Tessi Garcia designer competition Interior Design judged by McMillan, Event Management, PR, Production The NorthStar Jones editor in chief Group Tracey Ferguson, and Event Management, Lars, among others. Transportation Minority The winner, Suzette A. Travel Group Kelly of Sarahi Fashion Valet, Venue Hilton Bentley Hotel House, will be feaVenues Bass Museum of tured in an upcoming Art, Morgan Miller, Nicole magazine spread. Miller, Saks Fifth Avenue —Angie Romero

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Eight models participated in the fashion show.

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.

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, event manager at Subway FranAudiovisual Production, on 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 & happening, which drew some 3,500 Associates 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 energizing atmosphere to a convenComedy Capers, Right On the 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 Stadium—to evoke, respectively, an Masters games, acrobats and double-dutch Photography Kardas energetic dance party, a whimsical jump ropers performed. Photography park, and a sports stadium. Then, —Jenny Berg

Subway Series

PHOTOS: KARDAS PHOTOGRAPHY

Ten-foot-tall glowing pillars surrounded the area known as the “Clubway.”

At the center of the Parkway, a skirted platform held a gazebo area with hanging flowers and candles, ivy, copper pots, and a fountain.


Florida Event Decor created gold ships’ masts with red sails to top each dinner table. Pirates sang a version of “A Pirate’s Life for Me” with lyrics about Ed Morse when the ballroom doors opened for dinner.

A talking pirate skull entertained guests.

PHOTOS: JASON NUTTLE FOR BIZBASH

Team Mates

served as greeters and provided guests with treasure maps of the night’s games, which could be played for a chance to open one of six treasure chests holding prizes. About a hour after arrivals, Ed Morse Automotive hosted a singing pirates signaled the opening of the main Treasure Island-themed incentive ballroom and beginning of the dinner service proparty with pirates, skulls, and prizes. vided by the hotel. Inside the main ballroom, a pirate ship backdrop from Backdrops Fantastic served as the Ed Morse Automotive Group held its MIAMI 19th annual Cash Bash, an incenmain focal point behind the stage. A Hot Party enhanced the space with rum barrels, gold coins, tive award night for its finance and insurance skeletons and skulls, and treasure chests around managers and sales team, on October 16 at the the room. All of the tables had been draped in Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Holblack and red linens and topped with gold-paintlywood. Janet Dauro, executive assistant to the ed ships’ masts with red sails. company’s C.O.O., took the lead in planning this Following dinner, employees who had qualiyear’s surprise Treasure Island-style party, whose fied during a special three-month sales push got pirate theme remained a secret until the 225 their chance to win cash and gifts guests arrived. from a prize game on the main “We go a step further [with the Ed Morse Automotive stage. The interactive games at award night] and make it an extraGroup’s Cash Bash the back of the room opened for vagant event where they can win Catering, Venue Seminole the rest of the night. Depending cash and prizes, and the theme is a Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood on attendees’ performance at surprise. It’s all a great incentive to Decor, Design, each of the games, they earned keep them motivated,” said Dauro, Entertainment, Lighting, chances to open one of the six who said previous themes included a Production, Rentals A treasure chests, each with a Best casino night and a street carnival. Hot Party Decor Florida Event Decor Buy gift card for an amount rangDauro worked with A Hot Party Draping Backdrops ing from $500 to $1,500. to bring the pirate-riddled atmosFantastic —D. Channing Muller phere to life. Entertainers in costumes


Tabletops were covered with boldcolored linens and glasses, candlelit iron lanterns, and stacks of plates for shareable appetizers.

Mass General’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 bazaar—designed by Rafanelli Events creative director Billy Evers—where attention to detail was apparent, from the bold-colored linens to servers wearing fezzes and carrying Middle EasternDancers themed hors d’oeuvres from performed Max Ultimate Food. in Aladdin“For a space like this, inspired you have to go with scale for costumes. impact,” said Evers. “Little jewels on the table aren’t going to have the same impact as huge, real palm trees on the edge of the dance floor. Rather than do florals everywhere, we created effects with scale—like huge palm trees.” Evers and his team

BOSTON

PHOTOS: AVIRAN LEVY FOR BIZBASH

Story Time

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 five-foot iron lanterns filled 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 Children’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 floor for the remainder of the eve- Venue The Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers ning. —Erin L. Souza


PHOTOS: COURTESY OF WASHINGTON TALENT, PHOTO AND VIDEO

Patriot Act

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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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.

34 bizbash.com winter 2010–11

PHOTOS: LINE 8 PHOTOGRAPHY

Masterpiece Theater


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Ice Magic used lighting to make the tables appear to glow from within, while beakers filled with candy and drumsticks served as centerpieces.

Fourteen of Sanford-Burnham’s medical researchers set the tone for the event by coming onstage to the tune of “We Will Rock You.” The event team dropped 300 beach balls from the balcony for the first activity of the evening.

PHOTOS: CHRISTIE’S PHOTOGRAPHIC STUDIOS

Game On

attendees entered the Hard Rock Live auditorium for the first of four fund-raising activities created by Wildly Different. For the first, included as part of each guest’s ticket, the event team dropped Sanford-Burnham’s first benefit 300 beach balls with five different patterns from mixed trivia and games. the balcony of the venue. Each time the music stopped, guests were eliminated based on the color of the ball in their hands. The winner took Orlando’s Sanford-Burnham ORLANDO Medical Research Institute took an home tickets to a concert at Hard Rock Live. Attendees could buy in to the remaining unconventional approach to its inaugural fundraiser by creating a high-energy, interactive event three contests at costs of $50, $75, and $100 each. The final game was a paper-rockat Hard Rock Live on November 4. scissors tournament with the Titled “Bring It! Game On … For Medi- Sanford-Burnham Benefit winner receiving a four-night stay cal Research,” the event pitted the at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at 300 attendees against each other in Audiovisual Production True Marketing, Wray and Universal Orlando and a private trivia contests, timed challenges, and Associates tour for 12 through both Universal games of chance such as paper-rockAudiovisual Production, theme parks. scissors. The night raised $200,000 Catering, Lighting, Sound, The trivia contest had four for the institute through sponsorVenue Hard Rock Live Audiovisual Production, rounds. Guests used handheld ships, individual ticket sales, and Decor, Design, Lighting, audience response devices propay-to-play activities. Sound, Staging AV vided by Padgett Communica“The concept of trivia questions Matters tions to answer M.C. Marvelless and onstage challenges is an interDecor, Lighting, Linens, Rentals Ice Magic Mark’s questions about Sanfordactive way to keep people involved, Burnham’s research activities and and it’s against the norm out there,” Decor Sign-A-Rama Entertainment Marvelless Central Florida. The top four tables said the institute’s manager of Mark, Metropolis in each round sent a representaevents, Craig Corwin. “We are trying Productions, Peyton Entertainment tive onstage to compete in timed to change the culture here in OrProductions, Wildly activities, such as bouncing pinglando.” Sanford-Burnham’s California Different pong balls into beakers. At the end headquarters inaugurated a game Photography Christie’s of the evening, the top two contesshow event a few years ago, and its Photographic Studios PR Cuellar and Sachse, Red tants competed in a Guitar Hero success led the company to bring Rocket Studios challenge onstage for the rights the concept to Orlando. Rentals Padgett to a six-foot trophy known as the Following a reception in the lobCommunications “Bring It! Cup.” —Mitra Sorrells by with food stations and cocktails,

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Custom lighting rigged into the ceiling lit up the tables’ reflective surfaces.

A column in the middle of the bar projected a stainedglass motif onto the walls.

The plexiglass table numbers were a twist on traditional paper ones.

School Spirit St. Thomas Aquinas High School recruited parents to add sparkle to its 75th anniversary gala. On October 30, Fort Lauderdale’s St. Thomas Aquinas High School commemorated its 75th anniversary with a nearly sixhour celebration at the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood. The event received ample funding from members of the school’s foundation board, alumni, and parents, who either served as sponsors—sponsorship opportunities cost $10,000 to $11,000, in addition to individual $200 and $300 seats—or underwriters of the upscale production. The coed, college-preparatory school, which ranks among the top 50 Roman Catholic schools in the country and has more than 2,000 students, hired logistics pro Donald Braun’s namesake firm to oversee the gala, attended by 750 guests. It was one of four large events tied to the school’s anniversary. A celebrity golf tournament, an auction, and an alumni celebration—N.F.L. player Michael Irvin, tennis pro Chris Evert, and actor Billy Crudup are all notable graduates—will follow in 2011. According to Sister John Norton, coordinator of special events at St. Thomas Aquinas High School, the gala was nearly “the biggest event in the school’s history,” second only to a dinner with dancing that marked the institution’s 50 years. “We wanted to really celebrate the fact that a lot of families in the community who have been educated here have been very successful and very happy with their lives,” said Norton. Parents in particular showed their willingness to “honor the past, embrace the present,

The Red Carpet Lady from the Champagne Creative Group greeted guests.

A chandelier and gobos drew attention to the entrance created using mirrored columns and silver draping. Guests referred to the frosted lettering above the tables to find their name tags.

36 bizbash.com july/august 2010

PHOTOS: MATT HORTON/ARTIST GROUP PHOTOGRAPHY FOR BIZBASH

MIAMI


Guests walked through tunnels made with silver draping, floral tie-backs, and custom lighting to get from the cocktail reception to the ballroom.

envision the future”—a phrase written on the invitations—by funding some of the event’s most memorable production elements. One such parent, Guilherme Silva, who heads broadcast media company CIS Group and has two sons at the school, produced, directed, and funded a 15-minute 3-D video presented during the dinner program. The animated video—which highlighted the school’s academic, athletic, and arts programs—was narrated by students and shot on campus using 3-D cameras. Similarly, parents employed by Bacardi and Southern Wine & Spirits of America donated the hard liquor and wine, respectively, while yet another parent at the school helped book Jane Krakowski of NBC’s 30 Rock to sing during the dinner program through St. Thomas Aquinas her relationship with High School 75th Anniversary Gala Broadway Across America. Additional Staffing, Braun hired sevCatering, Valet Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa eral different vendors Catering Café Ala Carte and used items such Decor, Event Management, as plexiglass, beaded Production Donald Braun crystals, chandeliers, Events L.L.C. Draping Design Elements sheer silver draping, Entertainment Jerry Wayne and sequins to bring Music and Entertainment the gala committee’s Flowers Jason Frix vision of sparkle to Lighting Design Kerry McCloskey fruition. More than Lighting Equipment Jack six months of planHammer Live Audio ning led to the event Linens, Rentals Nuage (including two full Designs Models Champagne days of setup). Creative Group Guests parted Rentals Ace Props, Brelex with a souvenir: a Rentals Panache: A Classic bottle of Napa Valley Party Rentals Company Pompano cabernet sauvignon with the tag “aged to Sound Carlton Audio Services Inc. perfection.” Video Blu Laser Digital L.L.C. —Angie Romero


Costumed dancers with Las Vegas showgirl-style headdresses performed on raised pedestals

Grimpa Steakhouse served barbecue beef croquettes seasoned with herbs and Parmesan cheese and topped with breadcrumbs.

Go Big Adz parked one of its trucks, housing a vintage barbershop setup, on nearby South Miami Avenue to promote the event.

days later to distribute flyers for the opening. Linares also worked with Nat-PR Inc. to secure 39 sponsors and to promote the event to the media. Dancers, singers, and other entertainers dressed in 1940s An old-fashioned barbershop celebrated attire entertained RazzleDazzle Barbershop Grand its new location with a 1940s theme. throughout the Opening event on the stage Advertising Truck Go Big RazzleDazzle Barbershop celebrated and raised pedestals MIAMI the grand opening of its second loca- in the courtyard and Adz Audiovisual Production, tion with a 1940s party on September 16 in the the barbershop. ResLighting, Rentals, Staging courtyard of Mary Brickell Village shopping center, taurants within the Daydream Audio Visual and Creative Group where the store is located. Owner Elena Linares shopping plaza proCatering Balans, Grimpa relied on media outreach and guerrilla marketing vided food stations Steakhouse, Mr. Ganache to draw more than 1,000 people to the event. for the night accomChocolatier, PF Chang’s One week before the grand opening, an panied by specialty China Bistro, Rosa Mexicano Miami, Stella’s advertising truck from Go Big Adz drove through cocktails from Ketel downtown Miami and Brickell, hauling a large One and Zacapa Rum. Sweet Shoppe Entertainment Leon glass enclosure housing three corseted models The party also Entertainment, Miami who demonstrated the store’s shave, shoe-shine, served as a fund-raisDance Project Entertainment, Sound The and neck massage services on a man in a barber- er for domestic vioDJ Connection shop chair. “For me to show off the uniqueness of lence advocacy group Event Management, PR RazzleDazzle Barbershop, I felt that I needed to Safespace FoundaNat-PR Inc. bring it out into the streets during rush hour,” said tion, raising $6,675 Invitations, Signage Markham Unlimited Linares. “Driving the big ad truck in front of the through a raffle and Models A Concept Fashion busy clubs and bars during happy hours made a sales of 2011 pinupGroup big impact.” style calendars. Valet Standard Parking The costumed models headed to the street —D. Channing Muller

PHOTOS: MATT HORTON/ARTIST GROUP PHOTOGRAPHY FOR BIZBASH

Shear Opening


Guests entered the event through a giant inflatable football helmet.

Sixth Star staged a mini pep rally in the main ballroom with cheerleaders dancing to the music of a full marching band.

Designed and produced by Sixth Star Entertainment and Marketing, the event started the trip back in time with the 360 guests entering the building through an inflatable football tunnel. The imagery continued during the cocktail The Big Brothers Big Sisters fundreception, where two drummers battled before raiser channeled homecoming with leading guests through a gauntlet of cheercheerleaders and a marching band. leaders and flag-core performers into the main ballroom, where a marching band got the party Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward officially started. MIAMI County once again attempted to take The Edge band entertained intermittently besupporters back in time with the seventh antween the award presentations and choreographed nual Déjà Vu Ball at the Bahia Mar Beach Resort performances from hip hop and break-dancers, & Yachting Center on October 9. which took place throughout dinner. Big Brothers Big Sisters Donna Summer served as the Organizers change the fund-raiser’s theme each year, and this time opted of Broward County’s night’s surprise headliner, singing Deja Vu Ball to focus on all things homecoming, classic songs like “She Works Hard with inflatable football players, for the Money” and “Last Dance,” Audiovisual Production, Lighting, Sound, Staging cheerleaders, a marching band, and which closed the night. PSAV Presentation Services honoree Nat Moore, former Miami The event had 39 sponsors, Bar Southern Wine & Dolphins wide receiver. with 24 donating between $2,500 Spirits of America “Everyone remembers their and $50,000. Top sponsors included Catering, Rentals, Staging, Venue Bahia Mar Beach homecoming dance and game,” said Publix, AutoNation, Bank of AmeriResort & Yachting Center the nonprofit’s C.E.O., Ana Cedeño. ca, and Comcast. Cedeño estimates Decor, Entertainment, “It’s relatable no matter when you the event raised nearly $262,000, Production Sixth Star graduated and takes people back to not including silent-auction sales, Entertainment & Marketing high school and college. Plus, we’re which is about 21 percent less than Linens Over the Top Rental honoring Nat Moore so there’s the last year due to the lack of a title Party Linens the football theme there.” sponsor. —D. Channing Muller

Flash Back

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF SIXTH STAR ENTERTAINMENT AND MARKETING

The Edge band kept the dance floor busy between the scheduled performances.


Martina Navratilova led a morning workout session in a hall of the convention center.

The Diving Equipment and Marketing Association brought a 20- by 30-foot pool, wetsuits, and equipment, so that attendees could try scuba diving. NASA created a photo opportunity at its exhibit booth with a replica of a space suit.

Old School A.A.R.P.’s conference put speakers and exhibitors online while retaining in-person attendees. A.A.R.P. shared its Orlando@50+ National Event and Expo, which took place September 30 to October 2, with the public for free via the Internet. The association worked with Performedia to stream all of the sessions and speakers at the Orange County Convention Center live on the organization’s Web site, which will continue to host two-thirds of the event content until March. All 400 exhibitors also created a digital booth on the Web site to mirror the live conference. “There’s clearly an appetite for our folks to be engaged with technology, and the movement of the show [to different cities] every year makes it challenging at times for people to get to the event,” said the association’s vice president of events, C.B. Wismar. Organizers were concerned that putting the entire program and all the exhibitors online would reduce attendance, yet more than 25,000 people, about the same number as in recent years, attended at the convention center. “I think the opportunity to be involved in the live event

A.A.R.P.’s Movies for Grownups Film Festival gave attendees a sneak peek at upcoming feature films.

40 bizbash.com july/august 2010

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF A.A.R.P.

ORLANDO


Key members of the organization’s board welcomed attendees at the opening session. B.B. King performed on opening night.

Whoopi Goldberg and Larry King spoke during the closing session.

has a strong pull, and people will use the virtual event to go back and recreate and experience things they missed,” Wismar said. Throughout the three days, attendees listened to speakers and attended classes on topics such as health and fitness, entertainment, relationships, technology, and finance, all geared toward people age 50 and older. A.A.R.P. streamed all 90 sessions live on its Web site, and about 60 will remain there for six months. Wismar said the speakers who did not agree to make their sessions available after the event were primarily headliners like Whoopi Goldberg and Larry King. A.A.R.P. gave all 400 exhibitors an opportunity to create a virtual exhibit booth on the Web site as part of its fee for space on the expo floor. About 100 of the exhibitors paid an additional fee to upgrade their online presence to include extras such as streaming video and the ability to receive and respond to questions from site users. While online access to the sessions A.A.R.P.’s Orlando@50+ and exhibitors is free, National Event & Expo A.A.R.P. does require Audiovisual Production users to register so LMG Inc. Decor Freeman it can track which Online Virtual Event segments of the virPerformedia tual event were most Production Williams/ popular with site Gerard Productions Transportation Callaway visitors. Transportation —Mitra Sorrells

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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.

42 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

Big Score

PHOTOS: GARY BEECHEY FOR BIZBASH

Servers offered glasses of Perrier-Jouët at a bar in the V.I.P. lounge.


The Travelocity gnome traveled around the party, even making a stop at the casino tables.

The NEW Club Play Premiering now with full production services including:

Guests could bet on hermit crabs that raced around a table for a chance to win play money.

• Full staging and production • New state of the art sound and lighting system • Full kitchen and in-house Special Olympics Florida offered five trips through a raffle set up at the entrance to the party.

catering for all events All in our 10,000 square feet

event provides a platform to showcase resorts to people who have a propensity to travel and who have discretionary income to spend,” said the organization’s vice president of resource development, Matthew Levy. Special Olympics Florida tripled revenue Levy said the success of last year’s event from a travel-focused auction. demonstrated to the travel companies that this type of auction could put “heads in beds,” which Special Olympics Florida tripled its helped the nonprofit secure vacations from many ORLANDO revenue by more than doubling the new partners, such as Travelocity. number of trips offered at its Island Hop party “We look for causes where we can help the October 23 at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Concommunity and also inspire travel, and this really vention Center. For the inaugural event in 2009, does both,” said Travelocity’s senior vice president of the nonprofit secured donations of 45 trips from global partner services, Noreen Henry. 30 companies. This year that number jumped to From a South African safari to a cruise on Eu100 trips from 68 companies, includrope’s Rhine River and dozens of Special Olympics ing such industry heavyweights as more modest getaways, organizers Florida’s Island Hop Travelocity and Leading Hotels of the tried to offer something that would Fund-Raiser World, and brought in $52,500. appeal to each of the 350 guests. The nonprofit’s leaders develBy the end of the night, guests had Catering, Design, Entertainment, Venue oped the concept for a travel-focused purchased all 100 trips. As an added Gaylord Palms Resort & fund-raiser when they realized the benefit to the travel companies, the Convention Center economic downturn was affecting nonprofit will provide them with Entertainment Power C the travel industry. “We saw an opthe email addresses of the event’s Company, The Party Corp. Lighting, Production, portunity: Resorts had a lot of invenattendees, so the companies can Sound, Staging PSAV tory, and they would benefit from the send future offers directly to them. Linens Kirby Rentals awareness we could provide. So our —Mitra Sorrells

PHOTOS: BRANDON DOWLING FOR BIZBASH

Just the Ticket

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The High Life Straddling the High Line, AndrĂŠ Balazsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Standard New York drew attention before complete. Designed by Polshek it was even Partnership, this 337-room property ofďŹ cially opened in September. thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the High Line Room and For events, Terrace on the third ďŹ&#x201A;oor, which has views of the Hudson River for receptions. The hotel also and holds 250 offers the 285-seat Standard Grill with an adjacent garden well as the 18th-ďŹ&#x201A;oor bar dubbed room for events, as Bon Bon. (848 Washington St., 212.645.4646, standardhotels .com)

Although economic turbulence has tempered the intended ďŹ&#x201A;urry of venue openings and renovations in New York this year, it didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t bring the city to a halt. In fact, some of the bigger projectsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;two new baseball stadiums, the park on the High Line, and Lincoln Centerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s massive overhaulâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;debuted in 2009, while chefs spawned more casual eateries to match the change in diner preferences . However, the biggest change will come in 2010, when the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only convention center unveils an expansion and renovates its existing space. By ANNA SEKULA

ON BIZBASH.COM/NEWYORK The latest venue news, reports from recent events, and a comprehensive directory of local suppliers and venues

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Target staged a fashion and light show on the facade of the Standard hotel in New York as part of its roster of dramatic event initiatives. More on the retailer’s strategy is on page 58.

PHOTOS: THEO WARGO/WIREIMAGE

F O T S BE

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0 1 0 2 ON BIZBASH.COM

More photos and details from the events featured here, plus 10 local highlights from nine markets

bizbash.com winter 2010–11 47


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Toronto’s Best PR Boutique hosted a media preview event in a 4,500-square-foot suite inside a private home in August.

House Parties

In August, Toronto’s Bridle Bash Foundation held its annual fund-raiser in the backyard of a residential home, drawing 1,500 guests.

Whether to add a sense of comfort or exclusivity, private residences were a popular venue choice.

THE STAR CHEF FACTOR As the ranks of food celebrities continued to grow, they headlined tasting events, crowded attendee lists on press releases, and gave their names to menus— whether or not they actually prepared any food. In March, World Festival—a fundraiser benefiting chef Art Smith’s Chicago-based Common Threads charity—offered tasting stations from 70 chefs, including Rick Bayless and television personality Nigella Lawson.

48

The South Beach Wine & Food Festival had a long roster of chef appearances and demos this winter—including one by Michael Symon in one of KitchenAid’s two tents at the Grand Tasting Village.

Following a Katy Perry concert, chef Mario Batali did a cooking demo in Times Square at the June launch of the 2011 Volkswagen Jetta.

FAVORITE TREND OF 2010: “The use of dining options other than a 72-inch round and banquet chairs. We’ve seen people use a captain’s table, create booth seating with sofas and ottomans, and opt for a square or trianglar table. Many are using club chairs for table ends and linenless options.” Lindsay Cosimi, account executive, Room Service Furniture & Rentals, Orlando

PHOTOS: BIZBASH (BRIDLE BASH, PR BOUTIQUE), GUSTAVO CAMPOS (NEW BALANCE), A. PARDON (PRIVATE RESIDENCE), EDDIE QUINTOS FOR BIZBASH (WORLD FESTIVAL), REDEYE PRODUCTIONS (WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL), JOHNNY NUNEZ/VOLKSWAGON (MARIO BATALI), COURTESY OF LINDSAY COSIMI

In April, New Balance held a media launch for its toning sneaker line in a five-story mansion in New York.

Private Residence, a new event space in Miami, is the former home of its owner, local entrepreneur Debbie Ohanian, and has been redesigned to accommodate private parties.


THE YEAR OF THE IPAD PHOTOS: RED EYE PRODUCTIONS (LEXUS), SARA JAYE WEISS (HEINEKEN), PHILLIP ANGERT (AOL), ZENDOUGH.COM BY TRANSUNION, COURTESY OF TILLAMOOK, COURTESY OF NBC UNIVERSAL, SCOTT NAVA CARASCO PHOTOGRAPHY (COVERT AFFAIRS)

Apple’s latest gadget was put to good use at events. On Heineken’s nationwide Inspire Tour this summer, Relevent Group brought in computer stations, where brand ambassadors with iPads invited attendees to share what inspired them. The messages were then posted to screens. At AOL’s partner summit in New York in April, staffers used iPads to check in attendees. In August, Lexus unveiled its new hybrid vehicle in Toronto with an event produced by AMCI and Attention Span. Custom iPad applications gave guests details about the car and let them map out a downtown route.

Lexus created a 9- by 9-foot video wall of iPads and iTouch screens to present interactive information about its new hybrid vehicle for its Dark Side of Green Tour, held across the U.S. this summer.

Steal These Ideas

Guerrilla Marketing In January, consumer reporting agency TransUnion staged largescale public yoga classes in New York and Chicago.

Cheddar cheese maker Tillamook converted a VW vehicle into the Tillamook Loaf Love bus, which handed out samples throughout the western United States this spring. To tout the show Covert Affairs in July, USA Network dispatched 40 models masquerading as the show’s lead character, C.I.A. agent Annie Walker. The troop paraded past high-traffic public areas to silently spread the message.

For the 2010 Upfronts in New York in May, NBC promoted its slogan “More Colorful” with a group of brightly hued cabs that drove around Midtown before stopping in front of the Hilton for the network’s presentation.

bizbash.com winter 2010–11 49


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In New York, the Andaz 5th Avenue offers a meeting and event space with an open, communal kitchen as the central gathering point.

Chicago’s Room 1520 opened in May with two commercial-style kitchens, a fieldstone fireplace, and a lounge with plush seating.

Venues Get Cooking New event spaces added kitchens to showcase food prep and facilitate group cooking activities.

FIRST TIME’S A CHARM Launching new events in an uncertain economy can be risky. These gambles paid off. Manhattan Cocktail Classic For the first local festival exclusively dedicated to libations and the people who make them, Manhattan Cocktail Classic founder Lesley Townsend avoided juggling too much and limited her overhead by allowing the in-house marketing and event departments of large spirits companies to take creative control of their setups at various events. Townsend took a crowdsourcing approach, which gave independent producers and companies the license to conceive events and pitch the ideas to brands. The Cocktail Classic saw more than 4,000 attendees at 70-plus events over a four-day run. Amfar’s Inspiration Gala Series As a way to extend its footprint around the globe and boost its fund-raising efforts, the HIV and AIDS nonprofit launched a new event series in 2010, a concept dubbed the Inspiration Gala that traveled to New York, Paris, and Los Angeles in its inaugural year. With men’s style as the inspirational focus, each city’s event was hosted

by Kylie Minogue, held at iconic locations, and tweaked to the local audience. New York’s 400-person gala at the New York Public Library on June 3 included a 52-model runway show and raised more than $400,000, while the more intimate 150-guest dinner at Maxim’s de Paris in Paris on June 25 involved a performance by famed chanteuse Arielle Dombasle and brought in $175,000. Pepsi’s Idea Seminar Tour and Refresh Project Marketing Initiative In February, Pepsi unexpectedly opted to forgo a Super Bowl commercial, choosing to allocate funds to the Refresh Project, a marketing platform to boost its commitment to sustainable growth. This experimental consumer program awards more than $20 million in grants to consumers with ideas about how to improve their communities and the world. To generate awareness of the online program, Pepsi hosted a six-city seminar tour for students between February and April. Pepsi succeeded in mobilizing thousands of customers through

50 bizbash.com winter 2010–11

social media and the offline gatherings: As of September 1, 42 million votes had been cast online for more than 7,500 ideas, and the 256 ideas that received the grant are estimated to have influenced more than 200,000 people across the U.S. Life Is Good Festival Boston-based apparel company Life Is Good joined forces with Superfly Presents, the minds behind the Bonnaroo and Outside Lands, to introduce a new family-focused music festival in September. The two-day event brought 30,000 people—including 5,000 kids—to Canton’s Prowse Farm and raised $600,000 for the Life Is Good Kids Foundation. The roster of performers Bert Jacobs included kidcentric artists such as Dan Zanes & Friends, as well as headliners Ben Harper, Guster, Corinne Bailey Ray, and Jason Mraz. “In the past we always tailored our [smaller] festi-

vals to be family-friendly, and this year was no different, but we also targeted young, single music fans,” said Bert Jacobs, Life Is Good’s chief executive optimist. “Many people in the music industry told us we wouldn’t be able to mix tattoos with toddlers. But we did just that, and there were no problems.” Taste of Beverly Hills The date on September 2 of this year matched Beverly Hills’ famous ZIP code—as in 9-02-10—and this inaugural epicurean festival capitalized on the extra attention, as well as the long Labor Day weekend. The Taste of Beverly Hills offered samples from a broad array of the region’s top restaurants, cooking demonstrations from local and widely known chefs, wine tastings from more than 80 California vintners, and live music. The event took place on a three-plus-acre site with two 100- by 140-foot tasting pavilions. A 60- by 80-foot cooking demo tent had fully functional LG appliances. Best Events produced the programming, which drew an estimated 10,000 visitors, who scooped up an estimated 500,000 tastes. In a far-reaching marketing approach, organizers implemented a multimedia campaign that strategically aligned traditional media with targeted online partners and social media outlets, and worked with participating restaurants to develop

PHOTOS: BIZBASH (ANDAZ), INGRID BONNE/BEST FRIEND PHOTOGRAPHY (LOGAN SQUARE KITCHEN), COURTESY OF ROOM 1520, COURTESY OF BERT JACOBS

Also in Chicago, kitchen-equipped Logan Square Kitchen opened in September 2009.


Lexus’s booth at the New York International Auto Show in April was made of recycled and repurposed materials.

Held in Chicago in May, the Butterfly Ball had centerpieces of lilac trees and flowers from local nurseries, which were replanted after the event.

PHOTOS: EDDIE QUINONES FOR BIZBASH (BUTTERFLY BALL, COMIC AND ENTERTAINMENT EXPO), BIZBASH (NEW YORK AUTO SHOW), COURTESY OF NOKIA (PASSOS), CURT LITTLECOT (BANDWAGON ROADSHOW)

custom incentive programs each could use to promote the festival. Hispanic Leadership Summit The Southern California-based Center for Hispanic Leadership hosted its inaugural summit in September in the Junior Achievement Finance Park Mike Curb Center for Free Enterprise. More than 200 corporate leaders and brands participated—beating organizers’ goal of 120. With bigname sponsors such as IBM, Xerox, Toyota, State Farm, and AOL on board, the summit doubled its sponsorship goal. Attendees came from organizations like Pepsi, American Express, Coke, Aetna, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Ernest & Young, with more than 20 corporations each sending more than five representatives from all over the country. A social media campaign was a driving force behind the turnout. NokiaTalk Taking note of research that says more than half of Facebook activity is conducted via mobile phones, Nokia hosted its first social media conference May 24 to 26 in Miami’s design district. The company brought 100 bloggers, Web developers, and industry specialists from 12 countries in Latin America to the city for interactive speaker panels and collaborative sessions, which had attendees working together to create new industry standards and

Sneaky Eco Green decor that doesn’t look like it was a rising trend.

documents such as “The 10 Rules of Social Media.” “We didn’t want it to just be oneway communication, so we Saulo Passos made it interactive by inviting a lot of the bloggers to be speakers as well,” said Nokia social media communications manager Saulo Passos, who organized the event along with local event planning firm Siinc Agency. “It’s not just us telling them what to do; we are really engaging with them to tell us what to do.”

Bandwagon Roadshow

Bandwagon Roadshow After nearly 18 months of planning, this combined live music festival and car show debuted September 4 at Festival Field at the Orlando Citrus Bowl. Created by Jimi Beach, executive producer at entertainment company Top Speed Adventures and a former producer on the Vans

Warped Tour, the event attracted an audience of 5,500 to its launch before being fine-tuned and starting an eight-city cross-country tour in April. “Some of the largest singleday events in the world are classiccar gatherings, but they don’t have much entertainment, so we decided to create a new touring property that brings out top headliners with top cars,” Beach said. Snoop Dogg headlined the kickoff. Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo The Reed Exhibitions Pop Culture Group launched the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo in April. Held at McCormick Place, the three-day affair boasted 200 exhibitors, 175 panels and screenings, and appearances from industry heavyweights such as Neil Gaiman. Producer Lance Fensterman said that although Chicago has a strong community of comic-book enthusiasts, it was challenging to build market awareness for the unprecedented event. Reed’s strategy, he said, was to begin promotional efforts two years in advance in order to “motivate the hard-core fans to come interact with us,” by advertising the event “through the channels where the fans live and breathe,” including blogs, podcasts, comic books, and movie theaters. The event ultimately drew 27,500 attendees, which Fensterman said was about

Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo “5 percent short of a very aggressive goal. This is the second-best performing launch we’ve ever had.” Patrón Tequila Epicurean Express After sending all of its executives to New Orleans to volunteer with the St. Bernard Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rebuilding homes and providing mental health support for people affected by Hurricane Katrina and the recent oil spill, Patrón teamed up with the project for a five-city, cocktail- and food-focused fund-raising tour. With Patrón’s 1927 antique railcar serving as the backdrop, each of the twonight stops was held on the tracks and featured New Orleans-based chefs serving hors d’oeuvres paired with Patrón cocktails. The tour attracted more than 700 people in Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, Los Angeles, and New Orleans, and raised $125,000 for the project.

bizbash.com winter 2010–11 51


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Sundance’s Tweethouse

Social Lives Social media gave marketers new ways to woo attendees, get feedback, and extend the impact of events long after they ended.

Armani Exchange’s truck

BEFORE THE EVENT To promote a July catalog preview in New York, Ikea reached out to fans through Facebook, the Brooklyn store’s Twitter page, and IkeaFans. com, an independently run Web site with an audience of more than 150,000. After deciding to relocate the Vans Warped Tour 10 days before the event, organizers used social media to spread the word to attendees, resulting in the same attendance as last year.

Marc Ecko’s campaign launch

In July, Armani Exchange promoted its new fall line from a retro ice cream truck that made stops throughout Los Angeles. The store’s Twitter page alerted followers to the truck’s location and giveaways. DURING THE EVENT The 2010 Sundance Film Festival had

its own Tweethouse, which hosted panel discussions about social media’s role in the film industry during the day and parties in the evening, including a celebrity “tweet-up” to raise money for Haitian relief. AFTER THE EVENT In June, Yves Saint Laurent Beauté held a party in New York for its Belle d’Opium fragrance. The brand created a dedicated Web site to publicly document everything, from the onsite build-out to the Twitter posts from the night of the event. Marc Ecko Cut & Sew’s fall/winter 2010 campaign featured multimedia ads starring Lindsay Lohan that combined augmented reality and photography. At the August launch party in New York, attendees played with the technology on computers and then uploaded videos to social media sites.

NOT SO INDIE ANYMORE As marketers look for new places to engage their target audiences, some events that started scruffy are incorporating slicker, businessminded elements.

At the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, grown-up brands such as American Express and Microsoft sponsored tents with air-conditioning, charging stations, and plenty of product placement.

52 bizbash.com winter 2010–11

Held in Los Angeles in March, the Independent Spirit Awards moved from an intimate beachside tent to a larger downtown venue with six sponsor tents, including an Elle magazine greenroom.

PHOTOS: ASHLEY TURNER PHOTOGRAPHY (VANS WARPED TOUR), ALBERT MICHAEL/STARTRACKSPHOTO.COM (LOPEZ), BRYAN BEDDER/WIREIMAGE (MARC ECKO), BIZBASH (COACHELLA), LINE 8 PHOTOGRAPHY (ELLE GREENROOM)

The Vans Warped Tour


PHOTOS: COURTESY OF POV, MATT BALDELLI PHOTOGRAPHY (SPLASH), GEORGE PIMENTEL (THOMPSON TORONTO), WIREIMAGE (LADY GAGA), EMILY GILBERT FOR BIZBASH (AMFAR TABLES, ORCHID DINNER), BARRY BRECHEISEN FOR BIZBASH (DINING BY DESIGN), COURTESY OF JANET ABBAZIA

One of last year’s major new hotels in Washington, the W Washington D.C. has an 11th-floor rooftop bar overlooking the White House called the POV Roof Terrace.

Boston’s Splash Ultra Lounge, which opened in late 2009, has a roof deck with private cabanas, a decorative fountain, a DJ area, and a full bar.

The Thompson Toronto, which opened in June, has an infinity pool on the 16th floor.

Up on the Roof Hotel rooftops—home to pools, bars, and city views—are popping up in cities beyond New York and Las Vegas.

Going Gaga In February, Todd Event Design Creative Services gave Amfar’s New York gala a clean, modern look that matched Gaga’s all-white outfit.

Lady Gaga delivered her always surprising performances at many events, while also serving as a muse for designers.

Designer Michael McKinnon created a Gaga-inspired table, including napkins topped with sunglasses, for the New York Botanical Garden’s Orchid Dinner in February.

For the New York Dining by Design gala in March, Tug Studio’s “Call to Action” table recalled the singer’s “Telephone” music video.

WORST TREND OF 2010: “One ingredient too many—I’m getting sick of caterers feeling they need to show off and throwing every ingredient under the sun into each dish. Simpler fare done to perfection is the way to go.” Janet Abbazia, vice president of event marketing, Turner Broadcasting, New York

53


Audi’s pavilion during Art Basel Miami Beach

AMBITIOUS UNDERTAKINGS Go big or go home? These brands staged large events as integral parts of their 2010 marketing plans. Target’s Multifaceted Marketing Platforms Target is known for overthe-top spectacles, and 2010 saw the retailer pull off a massive publicity stunt in New York to showcase fall fashions: Dubbed the “Kaleidoscopic Fashion Spectacular,” the production used the entire southern facade of the Standard hotel as an illuminated billboard. Producer Mother New York placed 66 dancers, 156 LED lights, and a warehouse’s worth of fiberoptic cable in the windows of 155 rooms to create patterns including a bull’s-eye and a 14-story dancing man. The brand also staged a block party in Harlem for the opening of its first Manhattan store, created a 4,000-person volunteer drive-cumparty during the National Conference on Volunteering and Service, and hosted more than 2,000 guests at a welcome concert and reception to kick off the National Urban League’s conference in Washington. Red Bull’s Sports Competitions This year Red Bull solidified its place as the host and sponsor of extreme and unusual sports events by bringing a leg of its international flying competition to New York’s congested and politically sensitive air space. Staged over the Hudson between Manhattan, Jersey City, and Ellis Island, the Air Race World Championship took more than three years to organize and involved permission from 16 government agen-

cies. In 2010, the beverage brand also moved its Manny Mania AM series skateboarding contest from Miami to Orlando and returned its Flugtag air show to the U.S. after a one-year hiatus. Red Bull is also a big player in music, sponsoring bashes at festivals like South by Southwest and hosting its own contests and tours, including a DJ competition and an MC battle.

Red Bull’s air race over the Hudson River Amway China Incentives A fivegala series for Amway China spanned the month of June, with a total budget of $80 million. The programming consisted of five events for five different waves of Chinese sales reps who visited Southern California as part of an incentive. Each group experienced the same program of activities and gala evening. Roughly 13,000 attendees participated, with 1,800 to 3,000 at each gala, all held at the Anaheim Convention Center and produced by EventWorks. The

54 bizbash.com winter 2010–11

programming included novelty acts like human fountains, walking buffets, and stiltwalkers, plus musicians, with 50 live performers in all. Sprint’s Las Vegas Launches Sprint took to Las Vegas with splashy, tech-heavy events that drew crowds and buzz. At the Consumer Electronics Show in January, Sprint announced its exclusive deal with Overdrive 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot by Sierra Wireless at an event where attendees visited demo stations set up as individual vignettes—like a park with trees and concession stands and a dorm room with bunk beds and a cafeteria. And at the International C.T.I.A. Wireless show in March, the brand launched the first 4G phone with a Kabuki drop curtain that disappeared to reveal the party space and a hologram of the new phone to 300 guests. Fresh Wata produced both events. Audi’s Art of Progress Pavilion Though it took place in 2009, too late for last year’s wrap-up, it’s still impressive: Audi created a 45,000-square-foot temporary structure to celebrate its 100th anniversary and to launch its newest A8 model during Art Basel Miami Beach, from December 3 to 6. On the Anja Kaehny beach just north

of the Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach, the Art of Progress pavilion took structure design company EventStar six weeks to erect and consisted of an arena where the car was displayed, an art exhibition space, and an outdoor lounge that remained open to the public throughout the festival. “We looked at different buildings in Miami, but there were none that suited our needs,” said Anja Kaehny, manager of lifestyle communications and social responsibility for Audi. “So the idea of doing it near the Eden Roc was to create a temporary museum that would have a balcony opening onto the ocean.” The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Grand Opening After more than two years of construction, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter officially opened on June 18 at Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure theme park. The park hosted an invite-only party on June 16 with Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and several supporting cast members. The event spotlighted the park’s replicas of signature venues from the books and movies, like Ollivander’s Wand Shop and Zonko’s Joke Shop. Universal also employed entertainment elements from the stories, including the arrival of the Knight Bus and a performance by the Frog Choir in Hogsmeade Village. Late in the evening, Radcliffe led guests in saying “Lumos!” to illuminate the Hogwarts Castle replica, upon which Universal projected images from the movies as a fireworks display took place overhead, choreographed to music from the films. Hermès New York and Chicago Store Openings For Hermès’s stateside events in 2010—which included the opening of a New York men’s store in February and a Chicago flagship in June—no detail went overlooked. For the men’s store, the French fashion house transformed 20,000 square feet of raw space in the Park Avenue Armory into a leisure spot with four vignettes: a travel room, a library, a game room, and a jazz club. Around 25 percent of the event’s furnishings were custom made. Chicago’s store opening lured 700 guests and included stiltwalkers wearing horse heads and custom Hermès suits. A team of 14 assistants tied branded ribbons onto hay bales, which were imported from a local farm that morning.

PHOTOS: ELIZABETH RENFROW FOR BIZBASH (AUDI), COURTESY OF RED BULL, PHOTO SEXAUER (KAEHNY)

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PHOTOS: GARY BEECHY FOR BIZBASH (BUY DESIGN BENEFIT), PATRICK MCMULLEN (HERMES), ERIC CRAIG FOR BIZBASH (ARTEDGE), SARA JAYE WEISS (HEINEKEN), COURTESY OF JEFFREY FOSTER

Lexus Live For the world debut of the new luxury hybrid vehicle, the Lexus CT 200h, Lexus Canada showcased two early prototypes of the car—and staged a concert series with performances by four Canadian acts—at a three-day event dubbed Lexus Live in Toronto’s Distillery District. Lexus called on Los Angeles-based firm AMCI to design and produce the event, which centered on the use of interactive iPad stations that enabled attendees to provide feedback. To attract the right audience, Attention Span planned a concert series throughout the weekend, drawing more than 7,000 people. Chad Yee, marketing manager for Lexus Canada, reported that 81 percent of attendees said the hybrid changed their perspective on the brand. Washington National Opera Ball The Opera Ball is consistently ranked among the most high-profile events on the Washington social calendar, and the 2010 iteration—which raised $1.5 million—is still being talked about. For the 650 invited guests, the evening began at one of 22 embassies for dinner. They spent the rest of the evening at the Embassy of the Russian Federation, experiencing five themed rooms created by Sandi Hoffman Special Events that celebrated Russia’s rich history and bright future. An ice room held seven nine-foot ice sculptures that depicted great figures from Russian history, and a re-creation of St. Petersburg’s Winter Palace had a winter-themed courtyard, complete with falling snow and dancing ballerinas to celebrate the upcoming 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Institute of Contemporary Art Gala Boston’s ICA revamped its annual spring fund-raiser by adding an afterparty—one of the hardest tickets to land this spring. The May evening kicked off with a cocktail party and dinner in the new One Marina Park building in Fan Pier, adjacent to the institute. Afterward, the 430 guests were guided by large arrows, made from white fluorescent lights, across the boardwalk to the museum to join 300 additional attendees at the after-party. “It was a nice way to let people come and not invest in a major ticket price,” said Susie Allen, the museum’s director of special events. The evening raised $800,000 for the museum, up from just over $500,000 in 2009.

In April, Windfall Clothing Service’s annual Buy Design benefit had a 1930s theme, with badminton and croquet, a bake sale, and a carnival-style balloon game that guests played for prizes.

Child’s Play Lighthearted games and activities kept guests happy and entertained. Guests blew bubbles, played hopscotch, doodled on chalkboards, and hung out on an indoor swing set at Chicago’s artEdge benefit in May.

In February, Hermès celebrated its first dedicated men’s store in New York with vintage pinball machines, billiards, and table tennis.

On the New York stop of Heineken’s Inspire Tour this summer, partygoers played table tennis, among other games.

FAVORITE TREND OF 2010: “Advanced contemporary color combinations. As clients become savvy about color through advertising and merchandising, I find them more willing to explore new combinations, like ochre and steel gray or nude and black.” Jeffrey Foster, director of sales, Event Creative, Chicago

bizbash.com winter 2010–11 55


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Popcorn company C. Cretors celebrated its 125th anniversary in Chicago in May with a gala that included jugglers. The Recording Academy’s Grammy Awards after-party in L.A. was a dark, mysterious take on the circus.

For its annual Best of Washington party in July, Washingtonian magazine hosted a “gourmet circus” with tented food stations, games, and a sword swallower.

Circus, Circus

In April, Boston’s Room to Dream Foundation held its Carnival of Dreams, complete with jugglers on unicycles, games, three bars, and food from more than a dozen area chefs.

Steal These Ideas

COOL CATERING TRAYS At the Institute of Contemporary Art’s May gala in Boston, servers passed hors d’oeuvres on trays with mini screens that displayed work from the museum’s teen programs.

56

At the Ontario Science Centre’s Harry Potter-themed Innovator’s Ball in Toronto in May, ouija boards doubled as serving trays.

In June, CTV’s party for the MuchMusic Video Awards in Toronto had colorful decorative tubes throughout the party space—even on catering trays.

WORST TREND OF 2010: “Trying too hard to sell a ‘green’ event. I’ve seen so much effort—and emails and paperwork—spent to make an event ‘look green.’ Compare the imprint of those resources to the imprint of the original concept. Sometimes thinking efficiently can make the planning more green than the event.” Richard Summers, creative director, the Launch Group, Orlando

PHOTOS: PHOTOGRAPHY BY TAY KAUNE (JUGGLER), TONY BROWN/IMIJINATION PHOTOGRAPHY FOR BIZBASH (WASHINGTONIAN), LINE 8 PHOTOGRAPHY (GRAMMYS), AVIRAN LEVY FOR BIZBASH (ROOM TO DREAM, ICA GALA), COURTESY OF GOURMET CUISINE (INNOVATOR’S BALL), BIZBASH (CTV), COURTESY OF RICHARD SUMMERS

Many producers looked to the big top for inspiration.


PHOTOS: BIZBASH (FEVERISH ICE CREAM), KATE LORD (NBC LOCAL), COURTESY OF LENNY TALARICO, RYAN SJOSTROM (ECOLAB), TONY BROWN/IMIJINATION PHOTOGRAPHY FOR BIZBASH (SUPER BOWL PARTIES)

TRUCKS, NO STOP Made popular in New York and Los Angeles, mobile restaurants are serving casual and upscale cuisine at events.

To promote its new New York Web site, NBC Local Integrated Media recruited four big-name chefs— including Daniel Boulud—to serve free meals from food trucks in February.

At a June fund-raiser for Miami Gardens mayor and Congressional candidate Shirley Gibson, Feverish Ice Cream served Mexican chocolate-chip popsicles and mango paletas from the back of its truck.

FAVORITE TREND OF 2010: “Sustainable corporate gifts. Dual-purpose items with meaning: jump drives, recyclable event/grocery bags, eco-friendly personal items.” Lenny Talarico, director of events, MGM Resorts Events, Las Vegas

At Maxim’s Super Bowl party in Miami in February, sponsor Samsung created a chandelier of flat-screen TVs, all showing images of real chandeliers.

At Ecolab’s client appreciation party at the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago this summer, the registration desk was made out of the company’s soap dispensers and glass racks from restaurant dishwashers. During the Super Bowl, Bridgestone stacked its tires to create highboys at the ESPN the Magazine Next Big Weekend party.

Steal These Ideas

Products as Decor bizbash.com winter 2010–11 57


010 2 F O BEST

IDS 10

SUCCESSFUL MAKEOVERS Tricky times call for rethinking existing formats. These reimagined events boosted results by trying new marketing plans, locations, and formulas. IDS 10 The Interior Design Show, presented by Merchandise Mart Properties Inc., returned to its original home at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre after several years at the Direct Energy Centre. “It allows us to be part of the city again,” said show creator Shauna Levy, who credits the move with attracting greater numbers (attendance increased from 45,000 to 48,000) and a more astute audience. “We seemed to attract a more sophisticated, urban, design-savvy

visitor; media coverage was up; and our exhibitor re-sign rate was higher that it’s been for many years,” said Levy, who leveraged the show to launch the inaugural Toronto International Design Festival. Presented by Swiss watchmaker Rado and Audi, the citywide festival ran for four days, with 20 events taking place in venues like the Royal Ontario Museum and the Design Exchange. The Clios After Richard Beckman’s

new company, E5 Media, took ownership of the Clio Awards from the Nielsen Company, the former president of Condé Nast Media Group and executive producer of Fashion Rocks brought the advertising industry event back to New York and revamped the 51-year-old ceremony and conference. Consolidated into a two-day convention with two 75-minute award presentations, the 2010 Clio Awards saw a 50 percent increase in attendance, attracted big-name speakers—including

Los Angeles Marathon After a move from its traditional timing in March to May in 2009, the marathon reversed course to March 21. A new route, dubbed “Stadium to Sea,” was intended to show off the best of the city’s features—to locals as well as participants from around the world—on a sightseeing tour from Dodger Stadium through downtown, Hollywood, West Hollywood, and Beverly Hills and on to the Veterans Administration grounds and the finish line in Santa Monica. The marathon drew a capacity crowd of 25,000 registrants—the first time in the race’s 25-year history that it sold out and a 45 percent increase over 2009. Magic Twice a year, fashion industry players descend on Las Vegas for Advanstar’s Magic Marketplace family of shows. For the February 2010 run, the program launched dual campuses at the Las Vegas and the Mandalay Bay convention centers. Organizers billed it as the most significant format change in the show’s 77-year history, meant to add 50 percent more space and a more efficient organization for attendees and exhibitors. A new layout merchandised exhibitors into three distinct neighborhoods for easy

In the Spirit With serious bartenders focusing on mixology at cocktail bars across the country, classic cordials and signature drinks are as popular as ever.

In August, Hendrick’s Gin sponsored a bartender croquet tournament at Chicago’s Soldier Field, where guests sipped cocktails and flowery gin punch from teacups and hollowed-out cucumbers.

During the Fox Upfront in New York in May, bartenders served the “So Magical,” a mixture of rum, lime juice, and muddled mint poured over sour-apple cotton candy.

58 bizbash.com winter 2010–11

During Super Bowl XLIV in Miami, Patrón Spirits Company set up a “muddle bar” at a GQ pool party, where bartenders taught guests how to make Patrón mojitos.

PHOTOS: GARY BEECHEY FOR BIZBASH (IDS), BEN GONZALES (HENDRICK’S), ANDRE MEIR (FOX UPFRONT), BIZBASH (PATRON)

Grammy-winning singer Pharrell Williams and Penny Baldwin, Yahoo’s senior vice president of integrated marketing and brand management—and built its profile in the media.


PHOTOS: KELSEY EDWARDS (MASON), COURTESY OF FASHION GPS, COURTESY OF GERRY GINSBERG, TONY BROWN/IMIJINATION PHOTOGRAPHY (MOYER FOUNDATION), JESSICA TOROSSIAN FOR BIZBASH (FRAGRANCE, TARGET), COURTESY OF JASON WANDERER

navigation. The Trend Concourse by Fashion Snoops debuted in the Central Hall, with high-fashion mannequins, flat-screens, and runway footage. Magic also launched a new footwear show, FN Platform, with more than 500 brands over 60,000 square feet. Feedback from attendees and exhibitors was positive, and nonstop shuttle service between venues allowed for a smooth flow. Torchmark Corporation’s Combined Incentive and Award Trip This Fortune 500 company invited employees from four of its five insurance companies for an incentive trip to the Fontainebleau from July 7 to 10. Unlike last year’s incentive cruise, on which each company held separate award ceremonies, this time around Torchmark assistant vice president Donita Jacobs paired the companies into two groups to recognize the top producers and managers. “Torchmark is trying to bring all the companies under our umbrella together, so we thought having them exposed to one another would help in the process,” said Jacobs, who coordinated the four-day trip. Blooming Designs and Events designed the Rat Packthemed events, which used the same ballroom decor for ceremonies on consecutive nights. Orlando Shakespeare Theater Opening Gala Sometimes a simple twist can make a big difference. The Orlando Shakespeare Theater gained nearly 40 percent more

revenue—netting more than $110,000—from its 10th season opening gala on September 12 by selling more tickets and expanding its auction. The theater company held its fund-raiser on a Sunday instead of Saturday, which helped boost attendance to 315 guests, 20 percent more than in 2009. “We took a gamble that Sunday would be better because it didn’t compete with other nonprofit and sports events in Central Florida,” said Melissa Mason, the theater’s director of marketing. The day change also prompted organizers to hold the event earlier; it ran from 5 to 8 p.m., instead of from 6 to 10 p.m., as in years past. Melissa Mason

Black Creativity Gala In January, the Black Creativity gala at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry got a new format. Past iterations of the event, which honors African Americans’ scientific achievements, included a sit-down dinner and dancing. When it became clear that guests wanted more of the latter— “guests at this gala do not stay in their seats,” said museum manager of community affairs Octavia Hooks—planners replaced the sit-down meal with a strolling buffet and added a new lounge with a DJ and an additional dance floor. When guests arrived, chair Peggy A. Montes delivered welcome news:

“Tonight, you do not have to sit”— and the dance party lasted till the wee hours.

Fashion GPS at New York Fashion Week New York Fashion Week After 17 years at Bryant Park, IMG Fashion took a risky step—relocating the twice-yearly Fashion Week to the less-central campus at Lincoln Center. But the move enabled producers to revise the look, layout, and technology used for designer shows and set a new standard for the trade’s most important event. In doing so, IMG attracted 87 shows and presentations to its new site, up from the 63 during MercedesBenz Fashion Week’s final season at the park. Additionally, a partnership with electronic invitation and checkin program FashionGPS significantly reduced costs for designers and made getting into the tents more efficient for attendees. Canada Blooms The country’s largest flower and garden festival relocated to the Direct Energy Centre at Exhibition Place after 13 years at the

Metro Toronto Convention Centre. “Sometimes you need to refocus,” said Canada Blooms general manager Gerry Ginsberg. The move enabled landscapers and providers— who invest almost $10 million in the show—to be more creative with their displays, thanks to easier loadin. Organizers also revamped the opening gala, dropping ticket prices from $200 to $75, which contributed to a nearly 200-person spike in attendance over 2009. Instead of open bars and entertainment, the party directed more attention to the horticulture industry, with 20 gardening personalities opening the show, which saw a 16 percent increase in overall attendance. Ball on the Mall As one of the few groups allowed to host an evening gala on the National Mall, the Trust for the National Mall’s L’Enfant Society already has an exclusive sales pitch, along with plenty of guests willing to spend several hundred dollars to party in the shadow of the Washington Monument. Looking to capitalize even further on the second annual event, the society’s planning committee added a two-hour, V.I.P. seated dinner for 350 people prior to the evening reception. It drew a new range of sponsors, helping double the evening’s take from $150,000 in 2009 to $350,000 in 2010. Gerry Ginsberg

Gifts, Not Bags Fifty-pound goodie bags aren’t as common as they used to be, but small tokens still helped end events on a high note.

At a winter charity lunch in Miami benefiting the Moyer Foundation and the Mario Batali Foundation, each guest’s place setting had a spatula with the Batali Foundation logo.

For the launch of its Very Sexy Now fragrance, Victoria’s Secret gave editors individual cakes by Sylvia Weinstock topped with an edible perfume bottle.

At Target’s Liberty of London pop-up shop in New York in March, staffers handed out flowers to shoppers waiting in line.

WORST TREND OF 2010: “Cupcakes. Unless it is a children’s event, they’ve worn out their welcome. There are so many other creative dessert options.” Jason Wanderer, owner, Precision Event Group, Los Angeles

59


In February, Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet held a girly ladies lunch with pampering stations, pink champagne, and longstemmed roses handed out by male staffers.

In August, Lara Shriftman, partner at public relations and event agency Harrison & Shriftman, held her annual Girl’s Party in Miami, offering guests a day of beauty, shopping, dining, and gifting.

Feminine Wiles

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, Real Simple magazine held public demos in Chicago’s Union Station in April, where experts offered tips on topics such as hairstyling and table setting.

From conferences to benefits to public happenings, these events appealed to women with a mix of empowerment and escapism—plus plenty of freebies.

FAVORITE TREND OF 2010: “Using an iPad to replace all the paper for event managers and producers, including while checking in guests. No more bulky binders!” Quenten Schumacher, senior meeting planner, Sg2 Health Care Intelligence, Chicago

AUCTIONS GO HIGH-TECH Wireless bidding devices replaced paddles at charity auctions and, in many cases, brought in more money. New York’s Robin Hood Foundation used IML audience-response devices to set a new fund-raising record of $87.8 million at its May benefit. And at the American Cancer Society’s Discovery Ball in Chicago, the devices helped raise more than $2 million.

60

At the Jacob’s Cure Gala in New York in May, attendees used Bid Pal handhelds during a silent auction and live bidding to win prizes like a walk-on role in an episode of Entourage.

WORST TREND OF 2010: “White Plexiglass bars! Every event starts to look the same, and there are ways to custom-design these bars to create a much more interesting effect. Create a wallpaper effect out of decals, insert a natural wood element, or mirror the front side to add more interest.” Beth Appleton, director, communications and experimental marketing, Telus, Toronto

PHOTOS: RED EYE PRODUCTIONS (GIRL’S PARTY), MIREYA ACIERTO FOR BIZBASH (JOFFREY BALLET), BARRY BRECHEISEN/WIRE IMAGE (REAL SIMPLE), COURTESY OF QUENTEN SCHUMACHER, KEITH SIRCHIO FOR BIZBASH (IML), IRA LIPPKE STUDIO (BIDPAL), COURTESY OF BETHAPPLETON

010 2 F O BEST


In July, Smirnoff threw a comic-book-themed event in Toronto, complete with red carpet illustrations depicting people arriving at a party.

At the L.A. premiere of Valentine’s Day in February, organizers created cabanas within the tented party for the movie’s giant cast.

PHOTOS: EMMA MCINTYRE FOR BIZBASH (SMIRNOFF), LINE 8 PHOTOGRAPHY (VALENTINE’S DAY, TARGET), ALICE AND CHRIS FOR BIZBASH (WATERMILL), NADINE FROGER (DISNEY), GRANT HARDER FOR BIZBASH (OLYMPICS), ERIC CRAIG FOR BIZBASH (ARTEDGE), ROGER DONG FOR BIZBASH (HIGH LINE)

More Ideas to Steal

The Watermill Center’s summer benefit in the Hamptons had its own signature fragrance inspired by the event and its location. WM Paradiso 2010 was sprayed during the party, and 100 bottles were included in the night’s auction.

Held in New York this summer, Target’s Party for Good had 4,000 National Conference on Volunteering and Service attendees pack 170,000 meals for charity.

For the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Samsung created a pavilion that had a 3-D theater, with several large screens constantly broadcasting images uploaded by guests.

Disney Interactive’s 15,000square-foot exhibit at this summer’s E3 expo in Los Angeles used askew panels to create a dramatic look.

Guests helped themselves to water-cooler cocktails at the Museum of Contemporary Art’s artEdge benefit in Chicago this May.

At Friends of the High Line’s summer benefit in New York, Bronson van Wyck used a 600-foot-long strip of hanging foliage to connect several dining rooms and dress up a white space.

bizbash.com winter 2010–11 61


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

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA CLUBS & LOUNGES

screening. There is also a pool deck with room for 75, a library that holds 50, and a penthouse with a rooftop terrace and space for 60 guests. (4385 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 786.507.7900)

BOMBAY SAPPHIRE LOUNGE

In 2009, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County announced its partnership with Bacardi USA and the construction of the Bombay Sapphire Lounge. On the ground floor of the Carnival Tower of the downtown Miami property, the 2,800-square-foot lounge opened in October. The open layout of the lounge can host 60 inside, with an additional 50 on the Arsht Center’s 1,500-square-foot Parker and Van Thomson Plaza outside. (1300 Biscayne Blvd., 305.576.8888 ext. 325) LA FEE VERTE

RESTAURANTS

ZUMA

THE FORGE

German chef Rainer Becker opened the first U.S. location of Zuma in May inside the Epic Hotel. The 8,500-squarefoot Japanese restaurant offers access via private dock as well as the hotel’s main entrance, and is able to seat 198 throughout its main dining room, bar, lounge, and sushi bar. There are two private rooms for groups of eight or 12. (270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, 305.577.0277)

Landmark Miami Beach restaurant the Forge, which closed last year for renovations, reopened last spring. The main dining room doubled in size and now has 130 seats, while the Forge Bar seats 36 and provides full dinner service. For private events, the wine cellar can seat 22, a board room seats 16, and the library seats 40. There is also a courtyard for 100. (432 Arthur Godfrey Road, Miami Beach, 305.538.8533)

La Fee Verte, a 1920s-style Parisian burlesque club, opened GEORGE’S ON SUNSET in June in Miami Beach. This 4,000-square-foot private Local restaurateur George-Eric Farge, the name behind George’s in the Grove, opened his nightclub derives its name, which second namesake restaurant in July. means “the green fairy” in French, The 3,000-square-foot casual eatery from a 1920s nickname for absinthe. can seat 75 in its main dining room. The club, which can host about 220 There’s also a semiprivate room which people, specializes in absinthe cocktails Host an Onboard can seat 25, and space for an addiand feature burlesque dancers nightly. Gathering tional 50 outside on the sidewalk and There are two event areas for groups: patio. (1549 Sunset Drive, Miami, FL, the semiprivate Betty Page room for 18 The Norwegian Epic arrived at 305.284.9989) people and a second-floor V.I.P. room for the Port of Miami in July. The GREENHOUSE FLORIDA 30. (912 71st St., 305.865.5955) 1,081-foot cruise ship, the largROOFTOP LOUNGE Greenhouse Florida opened in October Rooftop Lounge opened atop the est in the company’s fleet, is in at the Village at Gulfstream Park shopTownhouse Hotel in Miami Beach in port on Saturdays and has mulping and entertainment center in August. The 5,000-square-foot lounge tiple restaurants, performance Hallendale Beach. The 10,000-squarecan accommodate 250 for a reception, spaces, and entertainment foot bilevel venue has a 65-seat with expansive city views. Seating for options for groups, including restaurant—serving organic, local, and 80 is composed of white wood chairs seasonal dishes until 2 a.m. daily— an ice bar with space for 25, a and loungers topped with gray and on the first floor and a second-floor 259-seat comedy club, and a red cushions. There is also a communal nightclub accommodating 500 people. table for 12, and catering is provided 146-seat steak house. Ideal for Greenhouse feature eco-friendly by the hotel’s Bond Street Sushi meetings, the Epic Theater can details like bamboo flooring and LED restaurant. (150 20th St., Miami Beach, host 681 amid graduated rows lighting. (801 Silks Run) HAVANA’S CUBAN CUISINE 305.534.3800) of plush chairs. Local entertainCooper City got its first Cuban ment company Cirque ProducCONFERENCE CENTER restaurant in June with the opening tions combines dinner and ROBERT AND JUDI PROKOP NEWMAN of Havana’s Cuban Cuisine. The 2,400entertainment with its Cirque square-foot restaurant can seat 80 ALUMNI CENTER This conference center opened on the Dreams and Dinner Show in people in its open dining room. The University of Miami’s Coral Gables the Spiegel Tent. Designed like establishment specializes in classic campus in October. The 72,000-square- the inside of a circus tent, the Cuban cuisine like picadillo criollo foot building can be booked for private bilevel dining room can seat (ground beef simmered in tomatoevents by alumni and non-alums alike. 167. (7665 Corporate Center based Cuban sofrito) and masa de cerdo The 7,273-square-foot multipurpose (pork chunks served with a guacaroom is the largest space, seating 300 Drive, 866.625.6338) mole-style avocado sauce) mixed with or hosting as many as 500 people for a Argentine grilled meats and Mexican reception. Meetings for 35 can be held in spices. (8600 Griffin Road, Cooper City, the executive conference room, which 954.530.1400) IL MERCATO CAFÉ AND WINE SHOP is equipped with videoconferencing In July, Il Mercato Café and Wine Shop technology. Other spaces include the opened in Hallendale Beach. The lobby, which holds 80; the Dany Garcia 60-seat international eatery specialand Dwayne Johnson Living Room, izes in global cuisines with healthwhich holds 135; and a small library. conscious components, mixing classic (6200 San Amaro Drive, Suite 200, Coral Italian dishes like spaghetti with Gables, 305.284.2872) French specialties like duck confit. The HOTELS restaurant lists 70 wines hand-selected by the in-house JW MARRIOTT MARQUIS sommelier and priced at $99 or less; an additional list of The 313-room hotel opened in July with 80,000 square high-end wines is available. (1454 East Hallandale Beach feet of space, including a 20,000-square-foot ballroom. Blvd., Hallandale Beach, 954.457.3700) There are two entertainment floors with a Jim McLean POSITANO RISTORANTE Golf School, a 10,000-square-foot NBA-approved basket- Positano Ristorante opened in Doral in July serving classic ball court, and a virtual bowling alley for groups. (345 Ave. Italian cuisine. The restaurant is decorated in a geometric style, with all dark wood and white elements. The of the Americas, 305.350.0750) SOHO BEACH HOUSE dining room can seat 92 amid a mixture of booths and London-based brand Soho House opened its third North four-top tables. There’s also a patio seating 22. The menu American property, Soho Beach House, in October. The is comprised of classic Italian dishes, including various oceanfront property combines aspects of a private club, meat and fish carpaccios as starters, main courses like 50-room hotel, and spa, with areas open to nonmembers linguine carbonara and tortellini panna and prosciutto, for hosting events of 22 to 150 people. The Screening and tiramisu, panna cotta, and ricottina for dessert. (2475 Snug movie theater can seat 22 on sofas for a private film NW 95th Ave., Suite 10, Doral, 305.594.2828)

Where to...

62 bizbash.com winter 2010–11

Top Chef contestant Andrea Curto-Randazzo and her husband, Frank, are the chefs behind the newly revamped restaurant the Water Club, which opened in May. The 12,750-square-foot eatery has a 106-seat main dining room, an 88-seat lower dining room, and a 58-seat main bar. The wine cellar, home to more than 150 varieties, and its adjacent lounge can seat 48 for dining or a tasting coordinated by the sommelier. The 13,000-square-foot pool and deck area has seating for 358 people. (3969 NE 163rd St., North Miami Beach, 305.944.8411)

RETAIL VENUE WINE DEPOT & BISTRO 555

This all-in-one wine store, wine bar, and bistro opened in November. The warehouse-style building is divided into two main areas: an indoor, 6,700-square-foot space that can seat 90, and a 2,250-square-foot patio that can seat 150. The bar can seat 18. For added privacy, there is a 250-square-foot private cellar called the Vintage Room. Equipped with a large flat-screen TV, the cellar can seat 14 and can be used for unconventional business presentations. (555 Jefferson Ave., Miami Beach, 305.672.6161)

ORLANDO BAR BABY GRANDS DUELING PIANO BAR

This dueling piano bar opened in October. The 6,700square-foot facility seats 200 or has a total capacity of 400. The entire venue is available for buyouts, or sections can be roped off for private events. The stage is the focal point of the main floor, which has 25 four-top high tables. For a more intimate setting, there are five semi-circular booths with leather seating a few steps up from the main floor. Each one faces the stage and can accommodate five people. (54 West Church St., Suite 250, 407.849.1911)

INDEPENDENT EVENT SPACE RICK’S CLASSIC CARS

Rick’s Classic Cars, open since October, is a 6,700-squarefoot garage that has been outfitted like a high-end private club, complete with a 20-foot bar and leather lounge seating. A rotating display of eight to ten of the owner’s vintage luxury automobiles are displayed around the room. The venue has event specialists that can work with hosts to coordinate catering, decor, and entertainment. (1116 Solana Ave., Winter Park, 407.644.7973)

RESTAURANT MOJO CAJUN BAR & GRILL

In October, this venue took over the 1920s building at the corner of Church and Garland streets. The 8,000-squarefoot restaurant can seat 250 or hold 400 for receptions. The entire venue is filled with purple, gold, and green accents, and strings of Mardi Gras beads to create an authentic atmosphere. Along the front of the building, a small patio offers dining at five round tables with umbrellas to provide shade. For smaller private events, the balcony can be reserved. It has seating for 100 at high-top tables. (129 West Church St., 407.422.6656)

STADIUM AMWAY CENTER

After more than two years of construction, the Amway Center opened in downtown Orlando in October. The new $380 million, eight level, smoke-free facility has 17 hospitality spaces like multipurpose areas, private rooms, and suites for special events and entertaining. Developed by the N.B.A.’s Orlando Magic and operated by the City of Orlando, the new 875,000-square-foot facility is nearly triple the size of the old Amway Arena. The largest event space is the team’s practice court, which can seat 500. (400 West Church St., 407.440.7000)

PHOTO: COURTESY OF NORWEGIAN EPIC CRUISE LINE

New Venues

THE WATER CLUB MIAMI


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had a magic fingers chair. He died 15 years ago. The events are attended by 30 to 40 “key online editors and influencers.” Sponsors’ products are shown on a plasma screen, aired on UChatLive, and simultweeted at robertverditweetthis.blogspot.com. The idea is that while he demonYes, I have a Facebook page and a And now I’m hearing about strates the products, his influencers Twitter account. Both were started tweeting at events. Nick Cannon of- are tweeting to their followers, and in a moment of panic—thinking I fered to send three sponsor tweets they tweet to friends, and they tweet was about to be left behind on the at one of his two 30th birthday par- to friends, and so on and so on just barren island of mainstream (or ties for the princely sum of $25,000. like that shampoo commercial. The lamestream, as per Sarah Palin) me- Yikes. Then somebody sent me the incentive for retweeting is a gift bag dia, watching while the nimble and deck for Robert Verdi’s Twitter parof all the products featured. To be able sailed off on the cruise ship of ties, which are imaginatively called a sponsor, companies pay between the future, Technologica. “Tweet This!” Now, I know and like $2,500 and $10,000 for two or three But every time I log on, I’m Robert; he’s been interviewed here tweets and one TwitPic. Some sponoverwhelmed by the unwanted before, he has clever entertaining sorships are given away for free. But obligation of it all. Friends who want ideas, and, despite his own somethe sponsors don’t know who pays responses, new followers for whom what exaggerated appearance, what, if anything, according to AshI have nothing to tweet. The most good taste. ley Mallinson, who runs the program guilt-laden of these spots is LinkedBut after spending an entire with Robert. There’s all sorts of other In—people who want recommenafternoon researching his new busi- bells and whistles you can add on, dations, referrals, or career advice, ness model, I have to admit I’m just like a branded Twitter competition none of whom I respond to. Will they completely bamboozled. But here’s and brand-specific tracking and metlose a job because I’m too lazy? Who what I figured out. rics. And the promotional material knows. By the time I’ve read the new Robert owns this loft in New variously boasts a million followers messages, I’ve lost interest in the York, which he calls Luxe Laboraper event and a cumulative program whole thing. tory. He rents it out for events, and reach of five million. It’s all very amWhile ashamed of my Ludditism, throws parties promoting his own bitious and ambiguous. I always took solace in sensing that I brands. Approximately once a month Ashley explains that they arwasn’t missing much. There’s Demi he does a themed Twitter gathering. rived at their audience claims using Moore, again, posting pictures of In September there’s Fashion Week a program called Spredfast. Robert herself in bed with Ashton (as if that (duh!), and holiday gift giving in himself has more than 16,000 folwould throw us off the scent). Or December (double duh!). lowers, and if you add up the total Palin making her political prognosNot all the months are as “luxe” as number of followers of every Web tications. (She’s one of the few who others. In one video, Robert holds up a site and every tweeter, I suppose has no problem getting the bulk of soiled glass bowl while talking about it’s possible to get a figure in the her wisdom across in the allotted toilet cleaning. It’s a “Spring Cleanmillions. But how many of these are 140 characters.) And all those bullies, ing” party sponsored by Scrubbing really being read? posting hate speech on each other’s Bubbles. I was also a little surprised When you go to his actual Twitwalls. It just seems to me that social to see a Panasonic electric vibrating ter page, it’s clear that the event media is one whole world of selfchair touted as one of the Fashion attendees are tweeting away like promoting jackasses. Week must-haves. My grandfather fiends to get their free goodies.

Twitter Off

I’m not buying the magic of social media.

Where Ted’s Been

Two revelers at Fashion’s Night Out got their newly “styled” game on for a digital camera at Diane von Furstenberg’s store. Was it Coco Chanel who recommended looking in the mirror and taking one thing off?

64 bizbash.com winter january/february 2010–11 2010

But as a friend whom I asked to help me evaluate this program wrote me: “Who the hell are these people retweeting ‘Once you try Smartwater you’ll agree it’s the “smartest” choice in bottled water’? Actually, seriously —who the hell are these people?” Maybe I’m missing something, but despite my respect for Mr. Verdi, to me this all seems to add up to an elaborately staged hill of beans. Just in time, The New Yorker arrived with a Malcolm Gladwell piece, “Small Change: Why the revolution will not be tweeted.” Gladwell debunks the myth that Twitter helped drive the Iran election revolts (all the tweeters that got media coverage were in English, while in Iran most people speak Farsi), and explains that while social media is able to reach large audiences very quickly, those audiences’ level of involvement is extremely low. (“The Facebook page of the Save Darfur Coalition has 1,282,339 members, who have donated an average of nine cents apiece,” he points out.) In the movie The Social Network, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s character repeatedly asserts that once the site starts accepting advertising, it will no longer be cool. I think the idea of paid tweeting for toilet bowl cleaners proves his point. Which brings me to my point, rather abruptly. Yo! Event people! Take heart. The real social network is still you guys, putting people together in person. Where interesting locales, meaningful content, and thought-provoking design can still do magic. And where tweets can only follow.

This teeming crowd shot from Fashion’s Night Out shows how successful Vogue’s promotion has become—and why I won’t risk attending again.

Super Saturday in the Hamptons has grown tremendously, and this year featured tents with unique shade cutouts. But has the whole thing gotten just a bit too super?

PHOTOS: ALISON ZAVOS FOR BIZBASH (DIANE VON FURSTENBERG), COURTESY OF TORY BURCH (CROWD SHOT), DIMITRIOS KAMBOURIS/WIREIMAGE.COM (SUPER SATURDAY)

Ted Kruckel


Event design: Fortuna Ludmir, Design 42

Photography: Matt Horton — The Artist Group



Miami/S. Florida Winter 2010