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Corporate Holiday Party Ideas Plus: 95 New Venues on Both Coasts, Kid-Friendly Events, Rental Bars, Teambuilding Ideas, Auction Tips, Lunch Menus, & More
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People save their ticket stubs from our venues for good reason: to remember something extraordinary. Our world-famous venues are secretly fabulous for intimate gatherings and small parties. Each on of our landmarks has a selection of perfect event spaces of every size to meet your needs and rise above all expectations .
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NEW YORK & LOS ANGELES September/October 2010 © 2010 BizBash Media On the Cover For AOL’s partner summit in April, Creative Edge Parties served up a buffet of puff pastry pizzas. Photographed by Phillip Angert
FROM THE EDITORS 23 Things to be grateful for READERS’ FORUM 25 Who is your mentor?
PHOTOS: KEITH SIRCHIO FOR BIZBASH
THE SCOUT 31 A bold new backdrop 32 Seven new serving stations 34 How can staffers in satellite ofﬁces stay connected? 36 Light afternoon meal options 38 A new L.A.-based production ﬁrm 40 Rental news 42 A new New York-based catering and event design company 44 Fun ideas for kid-centric events 46 Eight ideas and products to have on your radar Returning to the 69th Regiment Armory to honor the best of the fragrance industry, the FiFi Awards on June 10 were infused with bright colors and lighting to reﬂect the rebounding economy. The Fragrance Foundation’s biggest yearly gathering (800 guests attended) looked to give executives from brands like L’Oreal, Elizabeth Arden, and Estée Lauder an opportunity to relax and have fun. Knowing that limited budgets would prevent many companies from hosting their own parties following the ceremony, foundation president Rochelle R. Bloom integrated an after-party into the show’s program. This meant bringing in live musical entertainment for the ﬁrst time and supplying a spread of dishes suitable for a large crowd, including a Cuban-inspired buffet spread and a citrusinfused cocktail mixed by Bacardi ambassador Ludovic Miazga.
VENUES 48 Four new New York venues 50 A look at the Javits Center’s longawaited new pavilion 52 Four new Los Angeles venues 56 Destination report: Las Vegas EVENT REPORTS 63 From New York: Red Bull’s two-day air race 66 From New York and Los Angeles: Columbia Pictures’ splashy summer movie premieres 70 From Toronto: CTV’s 2,000-guest MuchMusic Video Awards party 73 From New York: Volkswagen’s Times Square concert 74 Coast to Coast: Covert Affairs’ army of secret agents 77 From Los Angeles: Armani’s denim promo on wheels 78 From Washington: The Opera Ball’s themed rooms 80 From New York: Dos Equis’ real-life treasure hunt 82 Coast to Coast: Standing Ovation’s performance-packed premieres 84 From Los Angeles: The all-white A.F.I. award after-party
88 From New York: The rapidly growing BlogHer conference 90 From Los Angeles: Amyway China’s ﬁve-gala incentive program 92 From Palm Beach: Women’s Wear Daily’s C.E.O. conference 94 From Chicago: Diffa’s futuristic AIDS fund-raiser 96 From New York: The Watermill Center’s paradise-themed beneﬁt 98 From Los Angeles: An interactive Reebok event 100 From New York: The ﬁne-tuned C.F.D.A. Awards 102 From Miami: Heineken’s two-day activation 105 Holiday Parties Ideas for end-of-the-year gatherings directly from the people who plan them Catering Trends 2010 109 A look at the trends and ideas that epitomize this moment in catering 116 Jennifer Rubell’s unconventional approach to food THE DIRECTORY 121 New New York venues 128 New Los Angeles venues TED KRUCKEL 132 Tips for auctions of all kinds
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From the Editors
Thanks Giving 8 things I’m grateful for. One of my favorite pages in this issue has a group of event pros describing what their mentors taught them. It’s refreshing to see people being grateful for what someone has given them. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the importance of choosing to be thankful for what we have instead of resentful of what we don’t. That’s easier said than done, sometimes, sure. (Somebody always has a bigger event, budget, or apartment, right?) But it’s better for your mood, and for everyone around you. Aren’t grateful people great? Don’t you want to do more for them? After several seasons of asking staffers, vendors, and other partners to do more with less, it’s probably a good idea to remind ourselves to express our gratitude to the folks who manage to deliver on those expectations with a smile—or at least without whining. So, forthwith, some things I’m thankful for:
I had a great dinner at the Girl and the Goat in Chicago recently.
1. Caterers like the folks in our cover story, who keep up with the latest culinary trends, serve increasingly demanding clients and guests, and turn out restaurant-quality food (or better) to huge groups of people, often without a real kitchen.
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF THE GIRL AND THE GOAT
2. Planners and vendors who make eco-minded choices, even when they’re more expensive and there’s no self-congratulatory “Going green!” theme.
know about what you’re doing next.) The people who do the most impressive work (usually!) complain the least. 5. The cauliﬂower at the Girl and the Goat in Chicago. A week after dinner there, I’m still craving it. 6. The crazy-creative folks who manage to make me, after 10 years as a professional event goer, walk into a party and feel surprised and delighted by some new idea and lucky to be among the few people who get to share the ephemeral experience they’ve created.
3. Hosts who invite a number of guests appropriate to the venue, hire efﬁcient and sufﬁcient door staff to get guests in quickly, and don’t measure an event’s success by the size of the crowd waiting 7. The talented, dedicated editors, designers, writers, and photographers who help put together this outside to get in. magazine and all of the stories we post daily on 4. Story subjects who say “thanks” for BizBash cov- BizBash.com. They have been stretched as much as erage. It’s not why we do what we do—the prime anyone of late, and they still manage to head out to that extra party (not as easy as it might sound), directive is to ﬁnd helpful, interesting stories for write that extra last-minute news item, hunt readers—but it sure offsets the “Why didn’t you down a better photo for that page, and ﬁnd one cover my event?” whining that’s more common. more product for that idea roundup. They’re also (My usual response, in short: Perhaps the event wasn’t the most innovative of our choices, perhaps truly nice people. we didn’t have time or space, perhaps it was too 8. Readers who let us know how we’re doing, and similar to something we recently covered. But it’s what we could do better. Won’t you? —Chad Kaydo never personal, and we truly hope you’ll let us
Who is your mentor? “I was taught several invaluable lessons by women in our industry. Terri Terrazino taught me to take myself out of the equation and keep my eye on what the client needs. Kathy Miller taught me how to listen to a client. Bonnie Siegel taught me to remember to have fun.” Tina Carlson, president, Ivan Carlson, Chicago
“For the past 15 years, Michael Roman of Catersource has facilitated in advancing my career, enhancing my education, and assisting in building my professional network. I have always beneﬁted from his sound advice—most importantly that every event is not necessarily a good event. Learn when to say ‘no.’” Meryl Snow, vice president, Feastivities Events, Philadelphia
“My current boss, Barbara Jarr, taught me the importance of building trust in the relationships I hold with vendors and our board members. When you have good relationships, even the most difﬁcult requests can come to fruition when you can easily turn to others for help.”
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF ALONG CAME MARY EVENTS, MATTHEW DAMES (BOSSERT)
Gina Tepavchevich, meeting and event coordinator, Radiological Society of North America, Chicago
“My mother taught me about style and graciousness, which are two of the most important traits needed in this line of business. And my dad has always told me: Remain calm and we’ll make it out of here alive. I live by that motto.” Alison Bossert, senior vice president, special events, Columbia TriStar Marketing Group, Los Angeles
“My beloved sister, Chickie. She taught me the signiﬁcance of tradition, family, amazing food, and the importance of gatherings with your loved ones.” Mary Micucci, founder and owner, Along Came Mary Events, Los Angeles
“My mom was always planning a party. I remember standing at the top of the staircase looking down on a fantastic costume party, dinner party, or even just my mom’s weekly card game. The best part was what she would wear to events, which was usually color coordinated. She passed away 20 years ago, but I’m sure she would laugh knowing I’m usually getting dressed for an event in a bathroom stall!” Mindy Weiss, owner, Mindy Weiss Party Consultants, Los Angeles
“My father. Before blogs, books, podcasts, or Webinars discussed it, my father understood the power of relationships.” Brian Burkhart, president, 7th Wave Communications, Chicago
“Martha Nelson, then editor of In Style, took a chance on me when the magazine had no special projects editor. After working at the William Morris Agency, NBC, and as vice president at three movie studios, I wanted a crack at events in the magazine world. She taught me everything I could possibly want to know about magazine publishing. She is what I call a visionary. All the things she taught me helped me start my own company.” Cynthia Parsons McDaniel, marketing, public relations, and events professional, New York
“My third grade teacher, Mrs. Little. She encouraged me to write poetry, paint, and sketch. She realized I was not a P.E. girl so allowed me to direct plays with my classmates during recess. She stimulated me creatively and treated me as an individual.” Hilary Harris, director of special events, Warner Bros. Studios, Los Angeles
Compiled by Claire Hoffman
bizbash.com september/october 2010 25
MY NEW FAVORITE THING “StaffMate (staffmate.com) allows us to quickly place staff for upcoming events and send out memos. Before it, we’d have to call each of our staff members to ﬁnd out if they could work and wait for them to call us back with their availability.” David Turk, president, Indiana Market & Catering, New York
My Cool New Job Lisa Pagano has been named senior campaign manager of marketing at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, where she oversees all marketing and communications for the society’s fund-raisers, including the Leukemia Ball, one of Washington’s largest beneﬁts. She spent six years as the communications manager for the Washington Nationals.
WHAT INSPIRES ME “Fashion runways. This fall, the big trends are ’50s retro, menswear tweeds and houndstooth, gold metallics and brocades, fur, and the color olive green. I translate these into decor using linens, china, furniture, ﬂorals, and little touches like napkins rings and place cards.” Leila Marie Eid, assistant director of events, Northeastern University, Boston
PHOTOS: ROBERT CUSAK (TURK), MARCUS BENNET (PAGANO), COURTESY OF LEILA MARIE EID
“Part of what drew me to L.L.S. was the challenge to expand my role to encompass marketing, and to help expose our events to a market we’re not yet reaching. This department is only a few years old, and it’s great to come in at an early stage. While there’s a great base in place, there’s plenty of room for growth.”
Zen Arts Flies High for P.L.A.Y. On July 18th, the Zen Arts group of Los Angeles treated the lucky attendees of the 3rd Annual P.L.A.Y. in the Jungle party to trapeze artists, ﬁre breathers, dancers, and aquatic performances. Their unbelievable feats weren’t just about hedonism though as the event raised money for P.L.A.Y., a charity that provides toys, books, and games to underprivileged children. Zen Arts has performed for clients such as HBO, Cirque du Soleil, and Activision and is available for events large and small. (310.259.7462, www.zenartsla.com)
Pole Position Raceway Expanding to New York Area Pole Position Raceway has announced that its sixth location will open this winter in Jersey City, New Jersey. Pole Position Raceway has long been known as an ideal team-building destination for its mix of thrilling racing at 45 miles per hour and separate conference rooms for productive meetings. The new facility will feature two indoor go-kart courses, meeting rooms, food service, and a bar area. The ﬂagship location in Las Vegas can accept groups of up to 350 and boasts a client list including Target, Nike, and Coca-Cola. (702.227.7223, www.polepositionraceway.com)
California Science Center: Events Among the (Sea)Stars Ever had an after-dinner stroll through deep sea vents? How about cocktails in a kelp forest? Events at the California Science Center’s recently opened Ecosystems wing offer one-of-a-kind experiences for private parties. This $165 million addition features cutting-edge collections that draw on the best of zoos, aquariums, and science centers. Private events are available for seated dinners of up to 200 guests and receptions for between 100 and 5,000 people. (213.744.7523, www.californiasciencecenter.org)
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PHOTO: COURTESY OF ATOMIC DESIGN
A BOLD BACKDROP Atomic Design (717.626.4408, atomicrental.tv) recently added a new soft backdrop to its rental collection. The Cell Cloth has a honeycomb design that retains its shape, even when shipped. The product can be tied straight to a pipe or truss or used as a room divider. Designed to work with a variety of lighting techniques, it comes in sheer white fabric, which can be backlit for dramatic effect, or in opaque silver fabric, which absorbs light, creating a more saturated look. Rental prices start at $850 per week and various sizes are available throughout the U.S. and Canada. â€”Lisa Cericola
31 bizbash.com summer 2010
Tate bar, $250, available in New York from Taylor Creative Inc. (646.336.6808, taylorcreativeinc.com)
Curved display bar (can be ďŹ lled with items or lit with LEDs), $400, available across the U.S. from AFR Furniture Rental (888.237.7368, rentfurniture.com)
THE BAR SCENE
Montecito bar, $125, available across the U.S. from Town & Country Event Rentals (818.908.4211, townandcountry eventrentals.com)
Dress up cocktail parties and other events with these seven serving stations. By LISA CERICOLA
Lorenzo bar, pricing varies, available in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Phoenix, and New York from Designer8 Event Furniture Rental (323.962.2062, designer8furniturerental.com)
Echo mirror bar, $500, available across the U.S. and Canada from PBD Events (781.848.1665, pbd-events.com)
Textured mirror plexi bar, pricing varies, available in Toronto from Contemporary Furniture Rentals Inc. (416.703.9236, cfrentals.com)
32 bizbash.com september/october 2010
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF NUAGE DESIGNS, COURTESY OF TAYLOR CREATIVE INC., COURTESY OF TOWN AND COUNTRY EVENT RENTALS, COURTESY OF AFR FURNITURE RENTAL, COURTESY OF DESIGNER8 FURNITURE RENTAL, COURTESY OF CONTEMPORARY FURNITURE RENTALS INC.. COURTESY OF PBD EVENTS
Metropolitan modular bar, pricing varies, available in Florida from Nuage Designs (305.573.7840, nuagedesigns.com)
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How can staffers in satellite ofﬁces stay connected? ﬁnd out some interesting things about them that other people would not know, then he will ask the others to guess who he’s describing,” Fisher says. Cisco employees ny has ﬂown in employees “It takes maybe 10 around the world from other cities for an anminutes, but he reports bonded by playing nual ﬁeld day in the fall. But that investing that bit “The Threshold,” a the interaction starts when of time helps people do virtual reality game. they’re still spread out: Emthings they would norployees volunteer to be team captains mally do if they were face to face.” and a draft day is held one month Of course, getting people in the prior to the event. “Once the teams same room always helps, if you can are drafted, each team develops an afford it. To create a feeling of conidentity,” Castellano says. “The day of nectedness among employees at Switch, a St. Louis-based experiential the event is a competition. There are marketing ﬁrm with ofﬁces in Atlanta, a series of eight events—physical, Phoenix, and Dallas, chief creative of- intellectual, and social challenges. It’s ﬁcer Ann Castellano says the compa- a really good time.”
On the evening before the event, Switch conducts a company-wide meeting and each team is given a 30-second spot to introduce themselves. At the end of the competition, prizes are awarded to the top three teams and a spirit award is given to the group that demonstrates outstanding creativity, sportsmanship, and enthusiasm. “It’s so well worth the investment,” Castellano says. “The stories made that day live on throughout the year.” —Susan O’Neill
An Odyssey playhouse
These nationwide teambuilding programs provide ways for staffers to learn something new, have fun, and be philanthropic.
Team Samurai teaches staffers the basics of martial arts. Teambuilding Inc. (888.672.1120, teambuildinginc. com) connects martial arts to the workplace in its new program “Team Samurai: The Art of Teamwork.” Instructors use martial arts as a metaphor for work-related topics such as ﬂexibility, focus, communication, and leadership. Participants also learn the basics of meditation, chi, and the mind states of martial arts, and how they relate to personal habits and work. The program can last a full or half day, and prices range from $3,500 to $7,500.
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For an activity with a charitable tie-in, Chico, California-based Odyssey Teams (800.342.1650, odysseyteams.com) offers the Playhouse Challenge. Teams of 10 build children’s play spaces from kits, adding custom paint jobs and decorative window and door designs. Odyssey Teams donates them to local children’s shelters, hospitals, and schools. The exercise runs about six hours and includes pre- and post-activity discussions led by a facilitator. The project requires a minimum of 50 people; prices start at $175 per person. —Lisa Cericola
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF CISCO, COURTESY OF TEAMBUILDING INC., COURTESY OF ODYSSEY TEAMS
When employees are scattered across the country, creating the sense that you’re all part of one team can be a challenge. But there are various tactics—and technologies—that can help create bonds among far-ﬂung staffers. At Cisco’s ofﬁces in San Jose, California, Angie Smith, the company’s senior manager of global sales experience and global sales operations, designed a virtual meeting attended by more than 19,000 employees in 100 countries in 2009. Rather than attend a company-wide meeting in Las Vegas, employees worked in teams to solve clues in a virtual game held in conjunction with the meeting’s online sessions. “The games were tied to Cisco messaging and content,” Smith says. “There were 13,000 [people] involved in the gaming…they collaborated across the world and tried to solve clues in the alternate reality game. It was just insane.” For this year’s meeting, Cisco created another virtual game, but the meeting itself wasn’t held entirely online. Rather, employees gathered at ofﬁces around the world in August and connected to a virtual meeting platform to participate in general sessions. Kimball Fisher, whose Portland, Oregon-based consulting ﬁrm, the Fisher Group, trains companies like Hewlett-Packard and IBM on teambuilding techniques, suggests working teambuilding into weekly meetings. “You’ve got to create the virtual water cooler experience for people,” he says. “It’s really important you have a regular time that you get together—either over a Web conference or a teleconference—and that you take some time at every one of those meetings to get to know each other a little bit.” “I’m working with a client at IBM who has 65 direct reports. Before their regular conference call he will interview three to ﬁve people and
“Every successful meeting begins with introductions. Allow me.” Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Behold, more than 6,000 square feet of meeting space, 7 unique rooms, and the all-new Millesime restaurant. And, if you think the Carlton looks good in the capacity chart and these photos, take a tour. We’re Midtown Manhattan, and ready when you are.
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Sliced jamón serrano, goat’s milk cheese with candied pistachios, black mission ﬁgs, frisée, spiced saffron crema, and a drizzle of sherry vinegar reduction from Diane Gordon Catering (212.289.1230, dianegordon catering.com) in New York
Asian po’ boy sandwich with pankocrusted shrimp, daikon, carrots, cilantro and sambal aioli on a baguette with green apple slaw from Epicurean Umbrella (epicurean umbrella.com) in Los Angeles
PHOTOS: MORIS MORENO FOR BIZBASH (MIAMI), JESSICA BOONE FOR BIZBASH (LOS ANGELES), GREG POWERS FOR BIZBASH (NEW YORK)
Three light afternoon meals that won’t weigh guests down. By LISA CERICOLA
Pan seared ahi tuna with fondant potatoes, vegetables escabeche, and citrus vinaigrette from Lyon & Lyon (305.534.0600, lyonand lyon.com) in Miami
H ere, Holiday Spirit Soars
Customized and affordable event packages
Scenic settings to host small receptions and large gatherings
Spectacular views of the Manhattan Skyline and Hudson River
For more information call 646.381.5301 or visit www.intrepidmuseum.org
Pier 86, West 46th Street & 12th Avenue, New York, NY 10036
Make your next event Intrepid!
New, modern exhibits with a clean and fresh look
Beachy Cream’s ice cream sandwiches
A NEW ICE CREAM CATERER
Swisher produced the Cyrus premiere party in June.
Malibu-based Beachy Cream (877.299.7557, beachycream.com) makes ice cream sandwiches in small batches with locally sourced, sustainable, and organic ingredients. Flavors include Key Lime Cowabunga, Strawberry Surfer Girl, and Ginger Wipe CATE R I NG Out. The company has a cart and can make appearances at events. For large crowds, the company offers ice cream sandwich stations or can staff events with servers who pass out the confections from trays. For smaller events, the treats come in a cooler with dry ice. —A.D.
Los Angeles Fresh Face
Former New Line staffer Maggie Swisher brings a decade of studio event expertise to her new production and management company. Maggie Swisher is no stranger to the magic of Hollywood—and movie industry events. A decade ago, Swisher moved from Minneapolis to Los Angeles after ﬁnishing college, and shortly thereafter, she was heading up the event department for New Line Cinema. Since then, she has run high-proﬁle studio gatherings like premieres for Sex and the City and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, press events like a worldwide junket for After the Sunset, and award show parties, including an Oscar viewing bash at the Paciﬁc Design Center the year The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King took home the gold. She recently launched her own event management and production company, Swisher Productions (310.699.6479, swisherproductions. com). Early clients include big names like Comcast Entertainment Group, Fox Searchlight, CBS Films, and the Weinstein Company, for which she recently planned a party at Comic-Con for the ﬁlm Piranha 3D. Swisher says her strength is in her company’s teamwork. “Each event requires the assembly of a select team that caters speciﬁcally to the needs of the client, event, and branding initiatives. We continue to cultivate fresh and imaginative ideas, and we are constantly challenging ourselves and
incorporating the next big thing—like the hottest DJs, event-friendly twists on food trends, interactive stations for guests, the latest venues and locations, and cutting-edge design—to keep our events different and interesting,” she says. “We cut the drama and work hard and never lose sight of the end product.” Among the events she’s done for Comcast was a party for the E network’s 20th birthday atop the London West Hollywood, where the many moving parts included a live performance by Kelly Rowland on a bridge above the rooftop and aerialists above the pool. Comcast Entertainment Group’s executive director of special events, Wendy Schellinger, says that Swisher is meticulous and thorough. “Maggie has mastered the unique skill set of listening to all your needs, wants, and dreams for an event and facilitating the reality of it all for you from start to ﬁnish,” she says. “She’s as ridiculously talented and driven as she is warm and compassionate.” “Our vision is simple: Life’s short, have fun,” Swisher says of her style. “Events are the pinnacle of a corporate product launch, and each event needs to be handcrafted with this in mind. We try to imagine everything from the client’s perspective as well as from the guest’s.” —Alesandra Dubin
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Zen Arts offers a range of entertainers.
Eye-Catching Performances Zen Arts (310.259.7462, zenartsla. com) is an entertainment company with a stable of aerialists, belly, ﬁre, and burlesque dancers, and other cirque-style E NTE RTA I N M E NT performers. The group is available for corporate events and takes on work that requires large-scale rigging and lighting or just a few individual acts. Generally, budgets are about $10,000 or more. —A.D.
PHOTOS: LINE 8 PHOTOGRAPHY (CYRUS PREMIERE), COURTESY OF MAGGIE SWISHER, COURTESY OF BEACHY CREAM, COURTESY OF ZEN ARTS
Rental News AN ONLINE DATABASE
RentalComp (rentalcomp.com) is a searchable online database of more than 30,000 rentals, from chairs to heat lamps to dance ﬂoors. Planners can search for items by keyword, which produces a gallery of thumbnail images that can be enlarged and printed. To get prices, the site allows users to email the vendors directly for a quote. The service is free for planners; vendors pay to list their products. —Lisa Cericola
COLORFUL, OUTDOORFRIENDLY SEATING
YOU TAKE MAN HATTAN, WE’LL TAKE CARE OF TH E R EST. The New York Helmsley Hotel is the place to meet in the heart of New York. Whether it’s an intimate business setting for an executive board meeting, or a larger space for a conference or banquet, we’re always in a New York frame of mind—providing the perfect venue for every event. Book online or call us today.
A NEW SOURCE ON THE EAST COAST National Event Connection (800.358.4335, nationaleventconnection.com), a New York-based entertainment and production company, recently launched a rentals division called Ambiente Designs. Available for events on the East Coast, the collection includes tables, chairs, leather sofas, and a line of sleek light-up lounge furniture made of recycled plastic. In addition to rentals, the company also offers event planning services, lighting, photo booths and games, and live entertainment. —L.C.
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF RENTALCOMP, COURTESY OF CORT EVENT FURNISHINGS, COURTESY OF AMMBIENTE DESIGNS
Candy Ottomans are a new offering from Cort Event Furnishings (888.710.2525, cortevents.com). The seats have a white plastic base and removable fabric tops that come in black, orange, red, and a black-and-white ﬁligree pattern, with storage under the seat cushion. The ottomans can be paired with Cort’s white Pop tables for café seating. The collection is available throughout the U.S. —Alesandra Dubin
New York Fresh Faces
SUSTAINABLE SET Ben Towill and Philip Winser’s catering and event design ﬁrm is relatively new, but the partners have been planning events together since they were teenagers in the English countryside. “Before we could even drive, we’d spend time at each others’ houses and throw dinner parties,” Winser says. “Instead of drinking beer and smoking cigarettes, we’d cook proper dinners and sit on the terrace.” After stints working for chefs Rick Stein and Gordon Ramsey, Towill came to New York in 2007 and helped launch the West Village restaurant Kingswood. Meanwhile, Winser honed his skills at U.K.-based event planning ﬁrms Party Ingredients and the Admirable Crichton. In 2008, Winser found himself in New York, and the two decided to go into business, combining their event experience and culinary talent. The name Silkstone (646.861.1545, silkstonenyc. com) represents their view of the service industry: “silk” for creativity and elegance, “stone” for integrity and labor. Like many catering ﬁrms, Silkstone
focuses on sustainability. But unlike other companies, Winser and Towill prefer a simpler, stripped down approach that emphasizes local and seasonal produce. Vegetable spoons, a signature menu item, are a trio of spoons that hold colorful, bite-sized combinations of vegetables such as zucchini, pine nuts, and basil, beets with horseradish crème fraîche, and candied carrots. “Together they are fantastic, three little tastes. And the colors are visually stimulating,” Towill says. Meat is not at the center of Silkstone’s menus, for environmental and health reasons, but when it is used, it comes from local purveyor Heritage Meats. “We integrate grains and vegetables and use meat as more of a side element,” Towill says. UBS Financial Services hired Silkstone to cater a 50-person lunch at Urban Zen in June. “Their food was fresh, creative, healthy, and delicious, and aligned perfectly with the serene Urban Zen space and the vibe of the day,” says Emily Joslin, director of marketing for
UBS. “The desserts were outstanding, especially the cocoaBen Towill dusted dates with and Philip mascarpone. And Winser our guests never had to ask for reﬁlls on water or elderﬂower lemonade and hibiscus iced tea.” After the event, Silkstone donated leftovers to City Harvest. Winser describes the company as “food led,” but says they can handle other aspects of event production such as stafﬁng, ﬁnding venues and rentals, sourcing ﬂoral and lighting designers, and even creating custom furniture when necessary. For a recent Cadillac event, Silkstone made glass tables with ﬂoral arrangements encased inside and a chrome bar. “First and foremost,
Art on Wheels The Marcoart Mobile (347.422.7821, marcoart.com) may look like one of the dozens of food trucks on the streets of New York, but this vehicle sells original paintings by an artist known as Marco. For a $250 fee, the truck will make appearances at events, where guests can buy 4- by 6-inch prints of his work ($25 each) or watch him paint live. For E NTE RTA I N ME NT kids, Marco will draw designs in black paint marker on blank stretched canvases that the children can paint themselves, coloring-book style. Or he can provide blank canvases for children to paint. Paintings are not included in the appearance fee. —L.C.
42 bizbash.com september/october 2010
we make sure [guests] are comfortable and well fed, and second, focus on understanding a company’s brand Heirloom and how the design works,” tomato Winser says. salad If running a catering company wasn’t enough, in September, the partners are opening a restaurant on the Lower East Side. Called Fat Radish, it will offer private dining options and a likeminded menu of local, seasonal fare. —Lisa Cericola
CUSTOM FROZEN TREATS Popbar (212.255.4874, pop-bar.com) makes gelato and sorbet popsicles dipped in chocolate and coated in toppings like coffee grounds, coconut, CATE R I NG crushed nuts, and biscotti crumbles. The treats are $3.75 each; unlimited dippings and toppings cost an additional 50 cents per bar. The individually packaged pops can be delivered in insulated bags in Manhattan below 110th Street. Orders of 100 bars or more get a 5 percent discount or free Popbar’s gelato delivery. —L.C. and sorbet pops
PHOTOS: DAN HALLMAN FOR BIZBASH (TOWILL AND WINSER, TOMATO SALAD), COURTESY OF MARCOART, MICHAEL TULIPAM (POPBAR)
The partners behind Silkstone offer a fresh approach to local cuisine, as well as event design and planning.
Children can be just as hard to impress as older guests. Here are some fun ideas for kid-centric events. By LISA CERICOLA
At the MuchMusic Video Awards in Toronto in June, Katy Perry delighted teenage fans by arriving on the red carpet in an ice cream truck.
In May, Nickelodeon held its ﬁrst annual Mega Music Fest in New York. Producers from Fresh Wata (702.889.0935, freshwata.com) set up a station where kids could decorate noisemakers and provided giant pods for trying musical instruments.
In April, Miami’s One Bal Harbour Resort & Spa (305.455.5400, oneluxuryhotels.com) celebrated its new children’s program with T-shirt decorating and sushi-making stations.
For the July premiere of the new King Kong attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood, Wildlife Waystation Animal Refuge (818.899.5201, wildlifewaystation.org) supplied animals and Fortune Entertainment (818.760.0560, efortune. com) provided jungle-themed entertainment.
Your Place or Ours YOUR conference room, your living room, your meeting, or your party. Add talented chefs, amazing food and drink, beautifully convenient delivery and mix well. OUR cool chic industrial space —The Fresh Kitchen— 3500sf in the heart of NYC. Add talented chefs, amazing food and drink, 25–175 guests, and mix well. Contact us today for more information and your own very special tour. LOCATIONS: Chicago • Philadelphia • New York Washington, D.C. • Boston • Toronto
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PHOTOS: GEORGE PIMENTEL (TORONTO), BIZBASH (MIAMI), ALBERTO VASARI/COURTESY OF FRESH WATA, DAVID SPRAGUE FOR UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD
The Young and the Restless
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Forecast Inspiring ideas, products, and just plain cool stuff to have on your radar. By LISA CERICOLA
2. Philadelphia-based Beautiful Blooms (215.925.9300, beautifulblooms.com) used more than 500 vases and a metal grid to create a hanging topographic map at the 2010 Philadelphia Flower Show.
Luxirare (luxirare.com) is a weekly webzine about “killer clothes and ﬁne cuisine” where blogger Ji shows off her latest edible and sartorial creations, from edible crayons to an Yves Saint Laurent-inspired chain jacket.
German company Novero (novero.com) aims to make technology fashionable. Its latest offering, the Victoria Collection, combines Bluetooth headsets with highend jewelry. The pieces, which cost $250 to $350 each, come in ﬁve styles ranging from a string of pearls to a masculine black and silver design that clips to a shirt. Each one has an earpiece and a pendant that hides a high-quality microphone.
Bompas and Parr (jellymongers.co.uk) design outlandish “food experiences,” like a recent event that charted periods in food history. Sponsored by Courvoisier, “Bompas and Parr’s Complete History of Food” ﬁlled a ﬁve-story townhouse with installations including ﬂooded dining rooms, massive sugar sculptures, and scratch n’ sniff TV dinners. The duo’s latest book, Jelly With Bompas and Parr will be available in the U.S. in 2011 from Sterling Publishing Co.
7. Three people worth following on Twitter:
6. For Architect Expo 2010 in Bangkok, local design ﬁrm Apostrophy’s (apostrophys. com), created a striking tented structure for publisher Art4d. The designers draped lime green fabric over several poles that lit the space from within. Huge black zippers served as windows and doors. Inside, the exhibit had ﬁve sections for reading, resting, drinking coffee, making purchases, and a play area for kids.
46 bizbash.com september/october 2010
Grant Achatz (@gachatz), chef-owner of Chicago’s famed Alinea restaurant, writes about his avant-garde culinary experiments and the restaurant business. Industrial design Web site Core77 (@core77) delivers constant updates about all facets of the design world, from furniture to packaging to technology. Steve Rubel (@steverubel), senior vice president and director of insights for Edelman Digital, focuses on how emerging technologies and trends can be applied to marketing.
The new book Trespass: A History of Uncommissioned Urban Art examines the history of global street art. Published by Taschen, Trespass includes work by 150 artists like Shepard Fairey, Keith Haring, Jenny Holzer, and Banksy, as well as essays by Anne Pasternak of Creative Time and civil rights lawyer Tony Serra.
PHOTOS: ALBERT VECERKA (HARRY ALLEN DESIGN), TOM FEEHLY PHOTOGRAPHY (BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS, LUXIRARE), COURTESY OF NOVERO, COURTESY OF BOMPAS AND PARR, SIRICHAI LVENGRISUTSIRI (APOSTROPHY’S), TASCHEN (TRESPASS)
Pipeline, Harry Allen Design’s (212.529.7239, harryallendesign.com) new seating collection for furniture company Dune (212.925.6171, dune-ny. com) is an industrial take on modular seating.
A New Lounge for Wintry Events During Fashion Week this past February, Marcel at the Gramercy opened Polar, a lounge on the lower level of the hotel, now available for private events. Housed in what was once a storage area, the spot takes its design cues from the North Pole, with elements that imitate ice, igloos, and polar bear skin. Created by interior design ﬁrm Goodman Charlton, the same company responsible for the Empire Hotel’s renovation, Polar has silver-painted brick walls, a white, black, and gray color scheme, snowy white banquettes, ﬂuffy white pillows, mirrors, and glass tables. The Gramercy Park venue is offered for private events of as many as 125 guests; food and beverage packages are available. (201 East 24th St., 212.292.7502)
By ANNA SEKULA
Flexible Space at Todd English’s Latest A Centrally Located Loft and Terrace At the border of Chelsea and Midtown is Top of the Garden, a dedicated event space that ofﬁcially opened in June. The bilevel venue is two blocks south of Penn Station and Madison Square Garden, making it a convenient spot to entertain before a game or host informal meetings with out-of-town clients. Atop a nondescript building, the site includes a clean, open-plan loft measuring 1,800 square feet. An equally uncluttered 1,000-square-foot rooftop terrace overlooking Penn Station and Madison Square Garden connects to the loft via an internal staircase. The site comes fully equipped with track lighting and sound, and exclusive vendors include Robert Stark Lighting, Choice Productions for catering, and Swank Productions, for planning, design, and ﬂowers. (251 West 30th St., 212.643.0055)
A Modern Tavern for Wall Street BLT Bar & Grill, the latest effort from the BLT Restaurant Group, opened in July inside the new W Downtown hotel. Just off the lobby and spread across two spacious levels, the 150-seat eatery serves chef Christophe Bellanca’s casual American fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In addition to 30 seats on the patio, BLT Bar & Grill offers a 20-seat private room, which is equipped for meetings and overlooks the second-ﬂoor walkway. (123 Washington St., 646.826.8666)
48 bizbash.com september/october 2010
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF BRANDSWAY CREATIVE (POLAR), COURTESY OF TOP OF THE GARDEN, BIZBASH (CA VA, BLT BAR & GRILL)
Done up in neutral tones with wood accents and comfy leather seating, Ça Va is a French brasserie from chef Todd English. Inside the new InterContinental Times Square hotel, the 125-seat eatery opened in July and was designed by Jeffrey Beers. At the front is Ça Va Marché, a takeout market selling sandwiches, salads, and pastries. Farther in, an L-shaped bar sits between the roomy lounge and the 80-seat main dining room. To the rear of the venue is a private dining section that seats 56. It has audiovisual capabilities and walls that lower from the ceiling to split the area into three separate rooms for smaller groups. (310 West 44th St., 212.803.4545)
E S PAC E O F F E R S I T S C L I E N T S A C L E A N , M O D E R N C A N VA S O N W H I C H T O C R E AT E A N U N PA R A L L E L E D E V E N T E X P E R I E N C E .
F R O M 5 0 0 G U E S T S F O R S E AT E D D I N N E R S T O 1 0 0 0 P E R S O N S TA N D I N G R E C E P T I O N S .
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New York Venues
Reinvention Center A look at Javits’ long-awaited new pavilion. The new Javits Center North pavilion
The passageway between the new pavilion and the original center, called “the Link” docks on the facility’s west side with direct access to the ﬂoor, dedicated restrooms and food service areas, and a ceiling that is 25 feet high at its lowest point.
The look is modern and airy, with polished concrete ﬂoors and natural light coming through skylights, windows, and the glass passageway. A plaza adjacent to the building can be used for outdoor functions. Now the Empire State Development Corporation, Javits,
Tishman Construction, FxFowle Epstein, and the New York Convention Center Development Corporation start repairing and upgrading the main expo facility. Renovations to the original Javits Center began in July and are expected to ﬁnish by fall 2013. In the plans are the replacement of the roof with green materials, the installation of a new glass curtain wall, and the repair and upgrade of safety, security, lighting, and plumbing systems. —Anna Sekula
Years in the making, the expansion of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center was completed at the end of July with the opening of the 100,000-square-foot pavilion known as Javits Center North (655 West 34th St., 212.216.2186). The extension—on the Midtown West block bounded by 39th Street, 11th Avenue, 40th Street, and 12th Avenue—connects to the original site by a 30-foot-wide passageway and offers 80,000 square feet of exhibition space. Among the components available in the column-free site are hang points on a 20- by 20-foot grid with a capacity of 3,000 pounds per point, loading
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By ALESANDRA DUBIN
Steps off the Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame, the Music Box, formerly known as the Fonda, recently completed a signiďŹ cant renovation. Available for event booking for a variety of group sizes, the venue was built in the â€™20s and functioned as a playhouse and movie theater before being turned into a concert venue. The new renovation, with a design conceived by Roy Nachum, has a capacity of more than 1,000. The main ballroom has room for 800 standing. The balcony overlooking it has room for 250, and the rooftop patio holds 300. (6126 Hollywood Blvd., 323.464.0808 ext.106)
The latest venue news
PHOTO: GUILIANO BEKOR
A Revamped Iconic Theater
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Los Angeles Venues
A Splashy, Multiuse Hollywood Venue After months of buzz, in July the Hard Rock Café debuted its second Hollywood location. The 20,000-square-foot venue in the Hollywood & Highland Center holds 900 guests. The stage on the main ﬂoor allows for live music and shows, and there is an open display kitchen, opposite which stands an elevated bar. Memorabilia includes a Fergie tour outﬁt and Jamie Foxx’s tuxedo from the ﬁlm Ray. Catering, entertainment, and event merchandise can be customized, and a private room with top-end audiovisual systems seats 40. (6801 Hollywood Blvd., 818.622.7660)
A Mod, Studio-Inspired Space Syndicate Hospitality has opened MyStudio in the former Mood space. Full buyout of the 4,500-square-foot venue is available for 400, or a semiprivate area for about 40 may be created behind heavy curtains and includes its own bar. The concept is a high-end club in the style of a photographer’s 1960s New York studio, adorned with touches of gold, marble, and black leather. Candid shots of models, easels, chandeliers, and bookshelves, and oversize industrial fans decorate the walls. (6623 Hollywood Blvd., 323.960.3300 ext. 24)
Red O opened in May, serving Mexican cuisine by Rick Bayless, the Chicagobased chef known for his PBS series, Mexico—One Plate at a Time and Top Chef Masters win. The menu includes authentic Mexican and lighter, California-style dishes. The dining atrium seats 58. Glass garage doors open to Melrose on one side and the main dining room on the other. The glass roof is also retractable. The main dining room seats 60 for events, with a 14-foot communal table, a bar area with leather swings for seats, and a semiprivate dining area. A more casual tequila lounge holds 30; it has a 25-footlong ﬁreplace, bar, and a direct entrance. (8155 Melrose Ave., 323.655.5009)
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PHOTO: COURTESY OF SYNDICATE HOSPITALITY (MYSTUDIO), COURTESY OF HARD ROCK CAFE, SCOTT SNIDER (RED O)
Mexican Cuisine From a Buzz-Worthy Chef
Aria Resort & Casino
Destination Report: Las
Mandarin Oriental Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas
Impress a group with these glittering new hotels. By ALESANDRA DUBIN square feet of meeting and convention space. Also part of the bustling CityCenter complex, the Vdara Hotel & Spa (2600 West Harmon Ave., 702.590.2767, vdara.com) is a 1,495-suite nongaming tower with a crescent shape that sets it apart from the others in the complex. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas (4455 Paradise Road, 702.693.5564, hardrockhotel.com) opened its all-suite HRH Tower at the south end of the Hard Rock property. It includes 359 standard suites, eight spa villas opening directly to the pool areas, and seven penthouses with panoramic views of the Strip and mountains. The tower has its own entrance and check-in.
Vdara Hotel & Spa
High Drama The Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health debuted the dramatic Frank Gehry-designed Life Activity Center in May, and it’s usable as a full-service event space with audiovisual technology and catering services. The 9,800-square-foot venue has a capacity of 700 for a cocktail reception with scattered highboys or 450 in a classroom or meeting setup. The courtyard can hold 300 for a reception. (888 West Bonneville Ave., 702.263.9797, keepmemoryalive.org)
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF CITY CENTER LAND L.L.C. (ARIA RESORT, VDARA HOTEL), COURTESY OF MANDARIN ORIENTAL LAS VEGAS, COURTESY OF HARD ROCK INTERNATIONAL, MATT CARBONE PHOTOGRAPHY (LIFE ACTIVITY CENTER)
The 392-room Mandarin Oriental (3752 Las Vegas Blvd. South, 702.590.8888, mandarinoriental.com) stands at the entrance to the massive new CityCenter complex. The 47-story nongaming hotel offers two restaurants, a patisserie, a tea lounge, a spa, and sweeping views from Sky Lobby on the 23rd ﬂoor. Three presidential suites on the top ﬂoors each measure more than 3,200 square feet. CityCenter’s new gold LEEDcertiﬁed Aria Resort & Casino (3730 Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, 702.590.9600, arialasvegas.com) is a 4,004-room steel and glass structure with an art collection that includes an 84-foot silver cast of the Colorado River by artist Maya Lin. Designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, the property includes 300,000
INSIDE EDGE Leisure Time Bowl Evolves Into Frames High-end Midtown fun has a new name: Frames. The venue formerly known as Leisure Time Bowl has emerged from a four-year, $15 million renovation with a new bistro-style restaurant, ultra-modern furnishings, and a separate dance lounge to complete the experience. Frames also updated the look and feel of its bar and bowling alley to create the perfect atmosphere for team-building events, corporate happy hours, or any other event where business meets pleasure. (2122686909, www. framesnyc.com)
Solotech Expands Into the Southwest and California Solotech, a premier rental company that provides audio, lighting and video equipment, has announced that its Las Vegas ofďŹ ce has expanded operations to include Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, Denver, and San Francisco. Solotech has thirty years experience providing technical solutions for special events and high-level meetings at both the national and international levels. With a client list including Cirque du Soleil, Britney Spears and Microsoft, Solotech has the creativity and expertise to make virtually any event a breeze, including ďŹ lm openings, fashion and product launches, and small festivals. (702.614.8882, www. solotech.com)
EXPO & AWARDS New York / Javits Center / October 27, 2010
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Event and meeting professionals, corporate planners, PR and marketing professionals, and third-party planners ready to gather, learn, and network in one spectacular day.
EVENT STYLE AWARDS Come applaud the Event Style Award winners for 2010! Find out who will take home the coveted awards this year. Main Stage, 5 P.M. to 5:45 P.M.
What sets BizBash Expo apart from the rest? BizBash Expo is a unique opportunity for planners to be inspired by a show ﬂoor loaded with fresh local ideas and the hottest products, incredible entertainment, education, and expert speakers, and to connect with more than 3,000 Northeast planners.
Cocktail reception following the Event Style Awards at SIR Stage 37
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These invaluable sessions give you access to expert leaders in the event and meeting planning industry who will show you innovative ways to plan and execute stylish and successful events. Full schedule online at bizbashnewyorkexpo.com.
3 Marketing Moves to Make Now You need out-of-the-box event promotions that smash through the clutter. This session will show you how to rock your next event with powerful, proven marketing strategies.
Event Planning Documentation: Creating the Checklists From A to Z This session will highlight everything from writing and ﬁnalizing agreements, troubleshooting for event production, and the importance of tie-downs before an event.
Hot Issues Facing Nonproﬁts Get the scoop on the state of fund-raising and what’s happening within the nonproﬁt world from those who know ﬁrsthand.
Do You Measure Up? The New Measurement Standards for Green Events Explore the competencies, knowledge, and skills used to deﬁne a meeting and event professional from beginner to expert, plus get a sneak peek at the new APEX Green Standards and the International Event Management Standards.
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Roseland, sometimes called “The World’s Greatest Ballroom.” The story of ballroom dancing and entertainment has happened here for eight decades. It has echoed with some of the greatest concerts, entertainers and events of our time. Roseland continues what it started in the 1920’s which is the tradition of bringing distinguished acts and clients to its’ venue of 20,000 square feet of space. Create your own memories.
Meredith Rothstein | Director of Special Events | 239 W 52nd Street | NYC | DL: 212.489.8350 | email@example.com
PHOTO: COURTESY OF RED BULL
High Flyer Red Bull brought its international air race to New York’s waterways for the ﬁrst time in June.
Some 40,000 guests headed to Liberty State Park via ferry and train during the weekend to view the Air Race.
Female Red Bull staffers donned aeronautical-inspired uniforms in all areas of the event.
Red Bull branded much of the inﬂatable racecourse.
The event’s sprawling footprint took over two areas of Liberty State Park (leaving plenty of free, prime viewing space for those without tickets), and included two 40-foot-tall grandstands that sat 4,000 and 8,000, a 4,000-square-foot broadAfter ﬁve years of planning, Red Bull cast center, a ﬁve-story radio control tower, and raced planes over New York’s waterways. dozens of concessions serving eight-ounce sirloin burgers for just $6. “The goal is to give guests This summer Red Bull deﬁed odds an experience as high-end as the brand,” said NEW YORK by taking over the waters beEatertainment Special Events director Sebastien tween Battery Park and Liberty State Park to stage Centner, who orchestrated the weekend’s catera two-day air race, where 12 pilots zipped through ing (with help from Great Performances) and an inﬂatable obstacle course at speeds of 250hospitality. plus miles per hour. Circling the Statue of Liberty Speaking of hospitality, there was plenty of on June 19 and 20, the single-seat prop planes en- it. Beyond the general ticketed areas were three tertained some 40,000 ticket holders throughout V.I.P. areas that—for a price—offered unparalthe weekend, with British pilot Paul Bonhomme leled views, open bars and buffets, plush seating, taking the top prize for his one-minute, 10-second and some much needed shade. The “Race Club” ﬂight time. section of the campus housed some 2,000 guests Created in 2003 by Red Bull and Austrian ﬁrm (for $200 a day) and came with complimentary CW Sports Marketing, the Air Race has since set sunscreen, highboy tables and stools, oversize up 49 courses—over both land and water—in umbrellas, and unlimited burgers, hot dogs, countries including Germany, the United Arab beers, and Red Bull-infused cocktails from eight Emirates, Australia, Portugal, Canada, and Brazil. It bars. Companies looking to entertain clients and took nearly ﬁve years of planning for a New York staffers could also participate by buying lots of leg of the race to become a reality, given the city’s 50 $750 two-day tickets, for access to a separate size and stringent security standards. lounge and better views of the course.
The grassy Race Club expanse was home to two 360-degree bars, each housed under a Red Bullbranded tent. Guests at the event were allowed a max of ﬁve alcoholic drinks each.
The air-conditioned High Flyers Lounge was the V.V.I.P. area of the weekend, where celebrities like Liev Schreiber and Zach Braff viewed the race.
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF RED BULL (40,000 GUESTS, BRANDED INFLATABLES, GRANDSTANDS), GRAEME SODENKAMP (RACE CLUB, HIGH FLYERS LOUNGE, BUCKETS, RACE TOWER)
Staffers placed buckets of snacks atop the highboys and bar in the Race Club area.
Built by crane, anchored by 30,000 liters of water, and housing ﬁve functioning ﬂoors, the 75-foot Red Bull race tower travels from city to city.
The High Flyers Lounge, a V.V.I.P. area of sorts, was home to a plusher, air-conditioned environment with a $1,500 two-day ticket. Guest like Liev Schreiber and Zach Braff viewed the race from a bilevel structure ﬁlled with ﬂuffy white couches couches, potted palm trees, upgraded eats, and champagne service. While Red Bull ran the show, sponsors Stoli, Volkswagen, and Breitling got in on the action via cocktail menus, course branding, and plane sponsorships, respectively. Next up for the pilots was Lausitz, Red Bull Air Race Germany, on August Catering, Concessions, 7 and 8, followed Hospitality Management, by Budapest later Specialty Furniture that month, and the Eatertainment Special Events & Catering season’s last race, in Catering, Stafﬁng Great Portugal in SeptemPerformances ber. While a ﬁnal Portable Toilets Mr. John decision has yet to Production Mountain Sports International be announced, the Rentals Party Rental Ltd. event is nearly conSecurity SOS Security Inc. ﬁrmed to return to Tenting Advanced Tent the New York area Rental, Miller’s Skytracker and Premiere Rental in 2011. —Courtney Services Thompson
Two grandstands offered direct views of the course.
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The premiere party for The Karate Kid took over a parking lot in Westwood. The bash, which drew upon an array of Chinese inﬂuences, was produced by 15/40 Productions.
Los Angeles, June 7
With summer comes crowd-pleasing tentpole movies, and Columbia Pictures threw some of the season’s splashiest premieres in Los Angeles and New York.
A giant cutout of Jaden Smith’s character served as a centerpiece in the party space. A wall of birdshaped lanterns at the party borrowed from a ﬁrst-kiss scene in the movie.
ON BIZBASH.COM More photos and details from these events
66 bizbash.com september/october 2010
PHOTOS: LINE 8 PHOTOGRAPHY
A troupe performed a dragon dance for guests at the party.
At the premiere for Salt, 12-foottall letters decked the arrivals carpet in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.
Salt Los Angeles, July 19 Held in the Hollywood & Highland Center, the after-party’s lighting motif from ELS took the form of multiple lines, borrowing from the many angles and architectural scenes in the ﬁlm. Inset lettering in the arrivals carpet spelled the ﬁlm’s tagline. 15/40 Productions planned the arrivals while Benarroch Productions handled the after-party.
Wolfgang Puck catered Russian-inspired dishes.
Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem walked the red carpet in front of the Ziegfeld for the premiere of Eat, Pray, Love.
The Benarroch Productions-produced after-party headed to the Metropolitan Club, where the venue’s West Lounge housed 16 communal V.I.P. tables from Frank Alexander NYC for the ﬁlm’s cast and crew.
Eat, Pray, Love New York, August 10
The Metropolitan Club provided the evening’s ample buffets, which included dessert stations.
Meat and cheese plates and bowls of fresh ﬁgs and olives topped the West Lounge’s oak tables.
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The eTalk and MuchMusic studios were transformed into party spaces.
Katy Perry turned the MMVA stage into a candyland for her performance of “California Gurls.”
Servers from Core Event Staff passed hors d’oeuvres from Daniel et Daniel on trays with armrests shaped like tubes.
that wound across the ceiling and added a playful element to the spaces. “The tubes represent connecting all of the different [CTV] properties.” Party guests, who began arriving at 7 p.m. (two hours before the broadcast), received color-coded CTV transformed its Queen Street wristbands (purple for media, red for reception headquarters into a multilevel guests) at a check-in desk set up in a black tent party venue for the MMVAs. at the venue’s Richmond Street entrance. Guests mingled and watched footage of the red-carpet arMore than 2,000 guests ﬁlled CTV’s rivals on television sets throughout the venue. TORONTO Queen Street headquarters on June Non-broadcast artists arrived via the red 20 for a multilevel party during the broadcast of carpet while performers entered through a the 21st annual MuchMusic Video Awards, which separate door that attracted a crowd of 8,000 fans to the intersecled directly into the MuchMusic Video tion of Queen and John streets for a show coartist lounge and Awards hosted by Miley Cyrus and featuring performanc- greenrooms. White Catering Daniel et Daniel es by Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, and Drake. furnishings from Event Creation & Catering The network—which didn’t host a major Furnishings by Corey Decor, Event Management industry party at the 2009 event—invited emﬁlled the 40 dressThree Event Planning & Design Inc. ployees, sponsors, artists, and record-label execu- ing rooms, each of Flowers Earthwork tives to the bash, planned by Mafalda Caruso, which had a table Furniture Rentals CTV’s executive director of special events, and Rob laden with sweets. Contemporary Furniture Dittmer of Three Event Planning & Design. The Rather than Rentals Inc., Furnishings by Corey pair designed two party spaces in the eTalk and hosting a gift Printing National Sign & MuchMusic studios on the building’s main ﬂoor, lounge, CTV made Design Group Inc. and another in the network’s ﬁfth-ﬂoor ofﬁces. a $10,000 donation Rentals Exclusive Affair “The inspiration for all of the party space was to the Young Artists Rentals Inc. Stafﬁng Core Event Staff from the promotions on MuchMusic,” said Caruso, for Haiti initiative. Staging RnR Staging who called on Dittmer to create colorful tubes —Susan O’Neill
PHOTOS: STACEY ANTONAKIS, BIZBASH
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German Import Volkswagen staged a Times Square concert for the global debut of its new car. In the hope of stirring public interest and strengthening its presence in the U.S. market, Volkswagen took the launch of its latest vehicle to the masses on June 15. A constellation of summer scenery—banks of sand, swaths of grass turf, and an enormous canopy— plus a surprise performance by Katy Perry and a cooking demo by Mario Batali set the stage in Times Square for a bold marketing ploy, which tion, but create it within the city’s restrictions for marked the global debut of the 2011 Jetta. events in Times Square. That entailed adhering Starting at 10 a.m., swarms of tourists and to a strict schedule for load-in and construction, New Yorkers joined hundreds of journalists, Volkwhile being unable to perform technical checks swagen dealers, and Germany-based VW execuahead of time. And for safety reasons, the details tives for the event, ﬁlling Duffy Square and the shared with the press before the event had to be TKTS booth to capacity. kept to a minimum, preventing the number of Positioning the marketing stunt in the highly spectators from swelling out of control—as hapvisible intersection was a strategic move for the pened at a South Street Seaport event with the German automaker, which recently reported rapper Drake later the same day. better-than-expected sales and counts the Jetta However, once the everything kicked off, Volkas one of its bestselling models. It swagen was able to take advanVolkswagen’s World also made for a considerable task tage of its location, using Z100 DJ JJ Debut of 2011 Jetta assigned to the producers at Jack Kincaid to rally the assembled mob PR MWW Group Morton: Not only did the crew have and splashing a live simulcast onto Production Jack Morton to develop a ﬁtting environment the Jumbotron above the adjacent Worldwide for the brand and its bid for attenAmerican Eagle store. —Anna Sekula
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF JACK MORTON (AUDITORIUM-STYLE SEATING), JOHNNY NUNEZ/COURTESY OF VOLKSWAGON (MARIO BATALI)
Long before Katy Perry took the stage for her three-song set, hundreds packed the street and the auditorium-style seating at the TKTS booth in Duffy Square.
Mario Batali followed Perry, preparing Italian summer dishes.
In Chicago, the promotion hit a number of places, including the platform of the Chicago Avenue stop on the El train.
Described as a live art installation, the promo was meant to introduce the premise of Covert Affairs and its main character, while disseminating information about the show’s debut.
Covert Operations USA Network teased its new spy drama with an army of secret agents. Eager to drive viewers to the July 15 premiere of Covert Affairs, USA Network deployed a crop of identically dressed women to march through the streets of New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Chicago on July 14 and 15. Masquerading as the show’s lead character, C.I.A. agent Annie Walker, the troop of 40 spies clad in white trench coats, sunglasses, red fedoras, and red pumps paraded past high-trafﬁc public areas to silently spread the message. Devised by the TV network and XA, the Experiential Agency as more of a live art installation than the typical street stunt, the promotion involved carefully scripted movements and a strategic route to maximize exposure in each market. The operatives were instructed not to speak and limited their interaction with consumers to handing out ﬂiers about the premiere, a sweepstakes contest, and the show’s online presence. “We are always trying to ﬁnd innovative ways to create cultural chatter about our series. We have created a visual spectacle that both teases the spy premise of Covert Affairs and stops people in their path,” said Alexandra Shapiro, the senior vice president of brand marketing and digital for NBC Universal/USA Network. “This is the next evolution of street marketing. Nothing has been left to chance. We have choreographed every move.” Starting with New York on July 14, the group trekked across the Brooklyn Bridge and into the ﬁnancial district and various Manhattan locales before deploying in busy sites in the other three cities on the 15th. Gathering at 8 a.m., groups of agents simultaneously made their way into and around iconic spots like Michigan Avenue and Daley Plaza in Chicago, Philadelphia’s RitUSA Network’s Covert tenhouse Square and Affairs Promotion 30th Street Station, Event Management, and Faneuil Hall and Production XA, the the Public Garden in Experiential Agency Chicago Boston, before wrapStafﬁng Eye5 Mktg & ping up just after 6 Talent Inc. p.m. —Anna Sekula
COAST TO COAST
The producers instructed the teams to disperse in certain areas and strike covert poses, such as reading newspapers on benches in a Chicago train station.
Operatives were instructed not to speak and limited their interaction with consumers to handing out ﬂiers detailing the premiere.
SUVs subtly branded with the name of the show and television network transported the spies to new locations.
The Covert Affairs stunt began in New York on July 14, starting at the Brooklyn Bridge in the morning.
PHOTOS: ERIK JACOBS (BAG, LIVE ART INSTALLATION), SCOTT NAVA CARASCO PHOTOGRAPHY (CHICAGO EL TRAIN, CHICAGO TRAIN STATION, SUV), JAUHIEN SASNOU/WONDERFUL MACHINE (HANDING OUT FLIERS), DAVID GIESBRECHT/USA NETWORK (BROOKLYN BRIDGE)
To add a bit of intrigue to the promo, the producers employed lowkey clues such as bags marked with a small graphic of the show’s logo.
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lywood and Highland (the Kodak Theatre), the Third Street Promenade Armani Exchange tricked out an ice cream in Santa Monica, West Third Street truck for a denim promo on wheels. and North Harper (Toast), Victory After an unseasonably cool Boulevard and LOS ANGELES start to July, Angelenos seemed Riverside Drive Dancing With the Stars pros to welcome the ﬁrst signiﬁcant heat wave in (Cavaleri & AssociMaksim Chmerkovskiy and Tony town. And making use of that summer energy ates), and Wilshire Dovolani stopped by the truck’s was Armani Exchange, which hosted its “Cool Boulevard and Robertson Boulevard pit stop. Down for a Cause” event on July 14, outﬁtting a North Camden retro ice cream truck to serve up fall 2010 denim (United Talent Agency). looks. The “A|X Chill Truck” hawked sweet treats On July 15, the truck helped actress Annalynne and denim deals outside the brand’s Robertson McCord celebrate her 23rd birthday with some Boulevard store, with proceeds from the day ben- sweets, stopping by the 90210 set for the occasion, eﬁting the Surfrider Foundation and its efforts to where a shirtless Armani Exhcange model prehelp with the Gulf oil spill relief. sented her with a giant ice cream cake displaying Armani Exchange senior vice president and a photo of herself along with the message, “Ice brand director Patrick Doddy oversaw the event, scream, you scream, we all scream for Annalynne’s working with the retailer’s agency of record, Shad- birthday.” Fellow cast members scooped up denim ow PR, to come up with the concept, and the Vilooks. Also that day, Mario Lopez stopped by with sionary Group, which executed it and his dog for a photo opportunity. Armani Exchange Chill handled the production. Coolhaus The KIIS FM Morning Show Truck Promotion brought the truck and ice cream. with Ryan Seacrest announced Ice Cream Truck, Ice Cream Later, the truck made stops at the truck locations and hyped Distribution Coolhaus North La Brea Avenue and West denim giveaways throughout the Celebrity Wrangling, PR Sunset Boulevard (Sunset Gower day. The Armani Exchange Twitter ShadoWest Studios), Hollywood Boulevard and page also alerted followers to the Design, Production The Visionary Group Los Vine Street (CBS), West Sunset and truck’s whereabouts and giveaways. The truck made stops around town, including one Angeles to celebrate actress Annalynne McCord’s birthday. Gordon Street (Alley Kat Studio), Hol—Alesandra Dubin
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Entertainers circled the snow-ﬁlled courtyard in Zorbs, the symbol of the upcoming 2014 winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Russian Standard The Opera Ball offered history lessons via themed rooms at the Russian Embassy
The Washington National Opera set a new standard for its largest annual fund-raiser, the Opera Ball, which took over the ceremonial building at the Embassy of the Russian Federation on May 21. This year marked the ﬁrst time the Opera Ball was hosted in conjunction with Russia, and throughout the evening more than 600 guests were immersed in Russian history by way of ﬁve themed spaces that offered glimpses into the nations’s past and its future. The event, which was overseen by chairman Susan Lehrman, raised $1.5 million. Patti Humphrey, director of special events for the Washington National Opera, said the ceremonial building at the embassy was an easy choice due to the fact that it “was such a clean slate to work with, but still offered so much history and tradition.” Although these spaces offered plenty of creative freedom, there still were challenges to working within the conﬁnes of an embassy. While a typical Opera Ball takes ﬁve days to set up, this year’s event required 12, due to the security requirements and the large amount of furniture In the Golden Hall, two dessert stations and decor. served Faberge egg cakes by Sylvia Weinstock. For the majority of attendees, the evening began at one of 22 formal dinners hosted by embassies all over the city. Guests arrived at the Russian embassy shortly after 9:30 p.m., where a canopied red carpet ran from the front gate to the entryway, and Quince Imaging projected eight-story images of traditional Russian architecture on one of the ancillary embassy buildings. Inside the embassy, the lobby The Washington was transformed into a winter landNational Opera Ball scape with plush white carpets and Audio All Stage and Sound white birch trees lining the hallway. Inc. The winter theme continued into the Catering Occasions courtyard, which was designed in Caterers, Sylvia Weinstock Cakes, Terracocoa tribute to the upcoming 2014 Winter Entertainment Alexander Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Izbitser, Duchin On the second ﬂoor were four Entertainment, KSE themed rooms including the Golden Productions Inc. Flowers Fields & Chambers Hall, which was made over as St. PeFloral Events, Flowers, tersburg’s Winter Palace; Yellow Hall, Sticks and Stones: Designs which became a Russian tea room; Petrovsky Hall became an ice by Susan Edgar, Plants Petrovsky Hall, which resembled an palace complete with seven Alive Inc. Lighting Atmosphere Inc., ice palace; and Palekh Hall, which nine-foot-tall ice sculptures. Frost Lighting took on the look of Tolstoy’s library. Printing MacImpressions For entertainment, the Peter Production Sandi R. Duchin Orchestra kept the dance Hoffman LLC Special Events ﬂoor abuzz, and rising opera stars Projections Quince Imaging from the Bolshoi Opera gave three Rentals DC Rental, Gala Inc., 15-minute performances in an adjaHDO Productions, Party cent auditorium. The ball concluded Rental Ltd., Props for Today Valet Atlantic Services shortly after 1 a.m. and all guests reGroup ceived an ofﬁcial program and a shot Venue Embassy of the glass engraved with the symbol of Russian Federation the Russian Federation. —T.J. Walter
Vintage samovars decorated the Yellow Hall, which became a Russian tearoom.
Quince Imaging projected images of storied Russian architecture on one of the embassy’s ancillary buildings.
PHOTOS: TONY BROWN/IMIJINATION PHOTOGRAPHY FOR BIZBASH
The main ﬂoor of Good Units was turned into an obstacle course, encouraging attendees to participate in a physical hunt for treasure.
Staffers in safari-style outﬁts helped guide guests through the bilevel Hudson Hotel space.
Challenges included reaching into a crate of live insects while blindfolded.
An elevated pool of water and sand formed the “quicksand challenge,” which required participants to carry a crate through the sinking pit.
Guests could earn points at a climbing wall.
A sword swallower alluded to the ﬁctional life of the “Most Interesting Man in the World.”
curious array of props, the Mirrorball-produced communication and bring to life the concept. evening put guests through an obstacle course of Across the board what we try to do is reinforce challenges to win prizes. the brand’s positioning as the premium import “The ‘Most Interesting Cargo Hunt’ is Dos beer for those who want to live a more interesting Equis’s summer promotional initiative, and what life. We do that by providing these really unique Dos Equis created a real-life we’ve done, as in the past, is try to create more of experiences for consumers that they’re not gotreasure hunt as an extension of its a holistic approach to the program. So whether ing to ﬁnd with any other beer brand, let alone “Most Interesting Man” campaign. you see it at a retail store, bars, at events, or on any other brand,” Thompson said. “The timing is the Internet, it’s all communicating the same ripe: The millennial consumer, our core audience The Dos Equis “Most Interestmessage, which is to deliver our advertising of of 21- to 34-year-old males, is really looking for NEW YORK ing Man in the World” campaign the ‘Most Interesting Man in the World’ and give adventure, looking for an opportunity to experiand its ﬁctitious namesake have extended to a consumers the opportunity to experience a more ence something unique, something interesting, plethora of marketing opportunities since 2007, interesting life, perhaps move away from the and aspire to be like the ‘most interesting man,’ so spawning a series of television commercials, mundane and day-to-day,” said Dos Equis brand that’s what we focus on.” radio spots, print placements, and digital content, manager Ryan Thompson. To ensure the setting for the cargo hunt was as well as a set of consumer events, traveling Far from routine, the face-to-face event invited consistent with the promotion’s Web site and the promotions, and a reality show. The Mexican beer 275 eager attendees to earn rewards by climbing a overall aesthetic of the “Most Interesting Man in brand’s latest spin off revolving around its beard- rock wall, running through a pit of quicksand, ropthe World” campaign, Mirrorball added wooden ed pitchman is the “Most Interesting Cargo Hunt,” ing a crate, rummaging through a box ﬁlled with crates to the venue and scattered curios like old a virtual search for lost artifacts, which in the real bugs, playing a computer game, and hunting for photo albums, vintage cameras, and animal skulls world translates to prizes and a chance to win a four-digit codes. By ﬁnding ﬁve difon both ﬂoors. Framed portraits of trip to Mexico. And, much like last year’s project, ferent codes and completing all ﬁve the character and plenty of Dos EqDos Equis Cargo Hunt the “Most Interesting Academy,” this consumer trials, competitors had a chance to uis rounded out the spread. outreach initiative is combined with in-person win the grand prize, a trip to Mexico Catering Hudson Hotel Face-to-face promotions for the DJ DJ JP Solis gatherings. as the photo journalist for the “Most Models Brand Allure cargo hunt appeared at more events An event at Good Units on July 21 was one Interesting Man in the World.” over the summer, including the Photo Booth Catch the Moment such occasion, luring a largely male crowd to the “The event was an opportunity July 24 M.I.A. concert on Governors PR Hill & Knowlton Inc. Hudson Hotel’s basement space for the Heinekto take the slightly less tangible Island and festivals in other cities, Production Mirrorball en-owned company’s invite-only treasure hunt. of what happens online through albeit in a smaller pop-up lounge Venue Good Units Spread across two ﬂoors and reinforced with a different forms of advertising and format. —Anna Sekula
80 bizbash.com september/october 2010
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INSIDE EDGE Pledging to Go Green The Green Event Mission (G.E.M), a collaborative initiative by Classic Party Rentals, the Green Meeting Industry Council, and BizBash Media, held its ﬁrst pre-launch luncheon at the eco-friendly Smart Home at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. Thirty event professionals including GMIC Chicago Chair Barbara Connell met to discuss how G.E.M. can best encourage their colleagues to create greener events. Suggestions included everything from eliminating plastic water bottles to donating leftover
food and ﬂoral arrangements. According to Nicole Edwards of Classic Party Rentals, “We want to start doing our part and are asking others to take small actionable steps as well.” To take the G.E.M. pledge and demonstrate your commitment to greener events, please visit bizbash. com/gem or the G.E.M. booth at the BizBash New York Expo & Awards. Please check the webpage regularly for surveys, upcoming luncheons in Las Vegas and New York, and more. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
From Left: David Adler, CEO/ Founder BizBash; Nicole Edwards, Marketing Associate, Classic Party Rentals; Linda Kingsley, Museum of Science and Industry; Sarah Finlayson, Museum of Science and Industry
Clariﬁcation Lounge Appeal was the designer of the BizBash L.A. Expo rear lounge (pictured). The photo credit on page 87 in the July/August 2010 issue of BizBash New York & Los Angeles was incorrect. More examples of the company’s products can be seen at www.loungeappeal.com.
Sing-a-Long Without studio backing, Standing Ovation threw performance-packed premieres in L.A. and Philadelphia. It’s not often that a ﬁlm without studio backing opts to host not one but two red carpet premieres, but Standing Ovation—executive In addition to a DJ, the evening’s produced by James Brolin—did just that. Working entertainment in Philadelphia with Precision Event Group, the teen-centric ﬁlm included a three-song held bicoastal screenings in Los Angeles on July 10 Glowing bars performance from the ﬁlm’s cast. and Philadelphia on July 13 that put the focus on bearing the the young actors. “Dance Sing “We had these kids that were choreographed Dream” motto Wigged Hard and knew how to do these different numbers,” anchored the Rock Cafe said Precision’s Jason Wanderer, explaining that after-party space staffers passed the ﬁlm centers around two rival song and dance in Philadelphia. sliders during teams trying out for a music video contest. “It the after-party was a no-brainer that we should weave them into in Los Angeles. both events.” Wanderer had the ﬁlm’s 16 principles sing and dance for the press on the pink carpet in Los Angeles, then give a post-screening performance on a stage on Universal Walk. Some 600 guests headed to the after-party at the Hard Rock Cafe could stop and watch the kids singing and dancing just as they’d seen them moments earlier on the big screen. Shot in Philadelphia and Atlantic City, Standing Ovation stars 26 children, all Standing Ovation Los unknowns from the region, which Angeles Premiere is why producer Diane Kirman After-Party Venue Hard and others involved with the ﬁlm Rock Cafe Hollywood at wanted to throw a local premiere. Universal CityWalk Attended by 800 guests, the PhilaArrivals Venue Universal delphia event mainly entertained Studios Hollywood Special Events the movie talent, their families Audiovisual Production (each actor received 10 tickets), Clair Sound Worx and local journalists. Despite a Design, Production, looming foreclosure, the Prince Ticketing Precision Event Group Music Theater was able to host the Flowers C.J. Matsumoto screening. & Sons Precision spent two days buildLinens Cloth Connection Local Philadelphia news radio station ing out the hotel’s ballroom, relyRentals Classic Party KYW donated its Kidcasts activity Rentals ing on local and New York vendors station, where children could report Security Special Event to supply rentals, linens, furnishfrom the event. The recordings were Management ings, lighting, and more. The afterStaging Entertainment later uploaded to the KYW Web site. party footprint had a “kids-only” Lighting Services ﬂoor in the ballroom’s balcony, Standing Ovation Sixteen principles from the a move that granted the many Philadelphia Premiere ﬁlm performed on the pink tweens in attendance autonomy Design, Production, carpet for Los Angeles press. while allowing parents to keep a Ticketing Precision Event watchful eye from below. Upstairs, Group the menu literally catered to its Entertainment Catch the Moment audience, with chicken tenders, inFurniture Rentals Bridge dividual pizzas, and pigs in a blanFurniture & Props, C.O.R.T. ket offered alongside the much Event Furnishings, Taylor in-demand s’mores, cupcakes, and Creative Inc. Lighting ShowPro sugar cookies dusted in crystals. Lighting Equipment Earl The ﬁlm’s principles once Girls Inc. again stole the show, performing Linens Cloth Connection three numbers on stage during the Rentals Party Rental Ltd. party. —Courtney Thompson Staging Main Attractions
Producer James Brolin walked the pink carpet in Los Angeles with wife Barbara Streisand.
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF PRECISION EVENT GROUP (CAST PERFORMANCE, GLOWING BARS, KIDCASTS STATION), NADINE FROGER PHOTOGRAPHY (WIGGED STAFFERS, PRINCIPLES ON PINK CARPET), CHRIS POLK/GETTY IMAGES (BROLIN)
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Guests mingled on the Sony Pictures Studios lot for the A.F.I. lifetime achievement award after-party.
In the commissary, seating got a modern look in clean white and chocolate brown wood.
Matsumoto & Sons topped stations, tables, and bars for a clean, monochromatic look. An illuminated circular bar served as the party’s centerpiece, and other bars had quilted white fronts. White gobos bore the logos of A.F.I. The all-white A.F.I. award after-party and Deloitte. In the commissary and dining room took over the Sony Commissary space, chocolate brown wood and white cushwith a quick turnaround. ioned seating advanced the mostly monochromatic palette. There are few directors more Ordinary workday business on the lot necesLOS ANGELES iconic than Mike Nichols, who sitated a tight loadA.F.I. Lifetime scooped up A.F.I.’s lifetime achievement award on in window of only Achievement Award June 10, and there are few venues in town more about ﬁve hours. “As After-Party iconic than Sony Pictures Studios’ stage 15, where we utilized the Sony ﬁlming for The Wizard of Oz took place. The guests commissary and Catering Wolfgang Puck of the black-tie taped-for-TV marathon ceremony dining room, we had Catering Flowers C.J. Matsumoto (which aired on TV Land on June 26) in Nichols’ to wait until 2 p.m. & Sons honor moved afterward to a more casual minwhen each ceased Furniture Rentals gling space, mostly outside, for a smart-looking its usual daily activLounge22, Luxe Event after-party. American Film Institute director of ity serving Sony Rentals & Decor Lighting, Projections special events Tess Csiszar tapped Jason Wanderer employees to begin ShowPro of Precision Event Group for the production. load in,” Wanderer Design, Event About 600 of the 1,000 guests ﬂowed into the said. “We than had Management, Production alfresco space adjacent to the stage, plus the com- another two hours Precision Event Group Rentals Classic Party missary and dining room on the Sony lot, around 11 of striking existing Rentals p.m., when the ceremony wrapped. Wolfgang Puck furniture before we Security, Sound, Venue offered hors d’oeuvres and desserts from passed could load in.” Sony Pictures Studios trays and at stations. All-white ﬂowers from C.J. —Alesandra Dubin Special Events
Dessert tables included offerings like colorful fresh fruit, plus monochromatic white ﬂoral arrangements. Kindle heaters dotted the space.
84 bizbash.com july/august 2010
PHOTO: DALE WILCOX
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At an event for Schick Intuition Plus at Stone Rose, the design team from We Came in Peace placed razors inside cocktail tables.
PepsiCo brought female executives together to discuss the impact women have on society and the marketplace.
on the expo ﬂoor, an 80- by 20-foot kitchen for chef demonstrations, tastings, and a sandwich-making competition hosted by Padma Lakshmi. Procter & Gamble also occupied a signiﬁcant area with its The sixth go-round of the rapidly grow- “Home Away From Home” concept, where bloggers could attend presentations, get product news and ing BlogHer conference drew more giveaways, and relax. attendees and big-brand sponsors. Despite being in a large hotel, the two ﬂoors of event space felt intimate, Groh said. One level BlogHer, an online network of fewas dedicated to all opening and closing sessions, NEW YORK male bloggers, has a tagline: “Life keynote speeches, parties, and the entrance to the Well Said.” But the organization’s fast-growing expo hall. The other ﬂoor housed breakout sessions, conference—an annual two-day symposium— the swag exchange, an Internet café sponsored by could have its own moniker: “Event Well SponChevy Bolt, press and speaker lounges, and a lactasored.” On August 5 and 6, the sixth iteration of tion lounge. the conference attracted some 2,400 attendees That’s right, a lactation lounge. Many women and 100 sponsors to the Hilton New York, an bring their babies, “and we encourage that,” Groh increase over last year’s conference in Chicago by said. It’s a nod to the conference’s mom-centric 1,000 guests and 50 vendors, respectively. audience and an acknowledgment of how the The swell in numbers is a key indicator of the BlogHer attendee differs from that of a tradirapid growth of women who blog and the scores tional B-to-B conference. “They’re not just here to of high-proﬁle companies looking to actively ennetwork; they’re here to form relationships with gage their attention. people,” said Elaine Wu, BlogHer’s marketing pro“They realized the value of having this in-person grams manager. connection with bloggers,” said Erin Groh, who BlogHer also made an effort to clarify for atheads up sponsor services at BlogHer. The goal for tendees which were the ofﬁcial BlogHer events by sponsors is to build relationships with attendees, keeping almost everything on site. Only two sancand thus Groh encouraged companies to create tioned events, a Liberty Mutual event at Ellis Island experiences that would resonate with the audience and a party hosted by AOL, were held off site, both rather than just hand out products. on Thursday. But that didn’t stop other ON BIZBASH.COM brands—like Schick, which hosted a That push was evident throughout the event. Sara Lee-owned food More photos and vendor Thursday night cocktail party at Stone credits for promotions sur- Rose—from piggybacking on the concompanies Hillshire Farm and Jimrounding the conference ference. —Erika Rasmusson Janes my Dean created the largest booth
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The organization chose fancy crystal stemware and ﬁne china for the galas.
Mitchell Zeidwig performed piano feats.
ater with aerial performance rigging from Branam Enterprises, a 60-foot LED screen backdrop, and a main stage as well as multiple video screens. Aramark created a Western menu for the Chinese palate, including crispy battered tofu with Amway China brought 13,000 snap peas and soft fettuccine, and Halal roasted travelers in for an $80 Million, Petaluma duck. ﬁve-gala incentive program. When guests were seated, the show kicked off with a multidiAmway China Gala If size matters, as they say, a mensional opening Series LOS ANGELES ﬁve-gala series for Amway staged with custom Catering Aramark China that spanned the month of June mattered visuals against the Decor, Flowers more than most other events. The nearly identical LED screen and DesignWright Inc. parties, with a total budget of $80 million, conincluding gymnasts Decor, Flowers, Production sisted of ﬁve events for the ﬁve different waves of in ﬂying stars susEventworks Inc. Lighting Visions Lighting Chinese sales reps who visited Southern Califorpended in the hall, Reception Talent nia as part of an incentive travel program. Each acrobats and paper Champagne Creative group experienced the same program of activities puppets on stage, and Group, International and gala evenings. Roughly 13,000 attendees pyrotechnic displays. Celebrity Images, Key Artist Group, Ray Johns participated, with 1,800 to 3,000 at each gala, The action occurred Presents all of which were held in Hall D at the Anaheim overhead, on the Rentals Chameleon Chair Convention Center. Amway greater China and ﬂoor, and on stage Collection, Classic Party regional ofﬁce associate director of audiovisual simultaneously. The Rentals and events production Bert Li oversaw the event dinner show included Rigging Branam Enterprises internally, tapping EventWorks to produce. shadow dancers Sound Design Harold Amway China invited proposals and bids for L’Ombre, basketball Blumberg the program last summer, and a contract was sensation AcroDunk’s Sound Equipment Delicate Productions Inc. signed early this year. Janet Elkins, Ted Bowers, and ﬂying performance, Talent Entertainment Plus Greg Holford of EventWorks came up the event’s and a Michael JackProductions Inc. title and concept, “You Are a Star.” (The meaning son tribute. A-Mei, a Talent L.A. Linq/ of star is different in Chinese, so the slogan had to star in the MandarinSports Marketing & Entertainment be translated to something like “You Are a Part of speaking world, conTechnical Direction Heaven” to make sense.) The message was that all cluded the evening Technical Show guests were stars of Amway China’s sales force. with a concert. In all, Management Novelty acts like human fountains, walking the galas used 50 live Venue Anaheim Convention Center buffets, and stilt walkers entertained the crowd. performers. Video Equipment DWP Live EventWorks transformed Hall D into a dinner the- —Alesandra Dubin
The Fab Four Beatles tribute act entertained the crowd.
A ﬁve-gala series for Amway China had a “You Are a Star” theme.
90 bizbash.com september/october 2010
PHOTOS: STEVE ELKINS (CRYSTAL STEMWARE), COURTNEY LINDBERG (MITCHELL ZEIDWIG, BEATLES TRIBUTE ACT, FIVE-GALA SERIES, 13,000 INCENTIVE TRAVELERS)
A total of 13,000 incentive travelers came from China to participate.
iVillage set up a red and white living room set with facts about the company on the walls.
Pistils and Petals incorporated Anisa International’s cosmetic brushes into the ﬂoral centerpieces on the bar.
Cosmetic brush manufacturer Anisa International sponsored Monday’s cocktail party on the green.
Unlike traditional conference schedules that consist of breakout sessions and keynote presentations, the summit staged its meetings with all attendees in the same session all day. “When doing breakout sessions, attendees can pick and choose Women’s Wear Daily hosted its what they want to hear,” Wayne said. “At this sumconference for beauty C.E.O.s with mit we get all the top C.E.O.s in the industry in the multiple sponsored parties. same room to hear the same information from our speakers who address critical issues facing the Women’s Wear Daily hosted its industry today and talk about solutions.” PALM BEACH 13th Beauty C.E.O. Summit at Following Tuesday’s meeting, Fairchild staged the Breakers in Palm Beach. The three-day, invite- an afternoon spa party in the cabanas surroundonly conference began on Monday, May 10, with ing the hotel pool. Sponsored by Foot Petals, a 270 C.E.O.s and other executives from the top 100 women’s high heel cushion insert company, the beauty companies in attendance. event included pedicure and reﬂexology stations, “[This is] the only meeting of record for beauty a branded drying lounge in Foot Petals’ logo colors, industry people to get new ideas and hear from the and themed drinks and snacks catered by the hotel. most cutting edge speakers from all After the treatments wrapped over the world,” said Jennifer Wayne, up, market research company Women’s Wear Daily events manager for summits at Communispace Corporation Beauty C.E.O. Summit Fairchild Fashion Group, a division of hosted a poolside cocktail party Audiovisual Production magazine publisher Condé Nast, who before dinner in one of the hotel PSAV Presentation Services Catering, Production, led a team of ﬁve event coordinators. ballrooms. Boutique fragrance Venue The Breakers “[Attendees] come for the coverage house Cosmo International sponDJ Artist Related, DJ Bounce [in our publication] and the informasored an after-party to the dinner Flowers, Props Pistils & tion that’s given that can’t be given in the next room, which offered Petals Linens Over the Top Rental anywhere else.” paparazzi-style photo opportuniParty Linens The summit began with an ties from Lila Photo. Ronen Bar and Photography Harvey Bilt outdoor cocktail party sponsored Furniture Rental created a custom Photography, Lila Photo by cosmetic brush company Anisa photo board to display the pictures Props, Rentals Ronen Rental: Boutique Event International on Monday night, at Wednesday’s meeting before Furnishings followed by a private dinner hosted guests took them home as keepSound T.T.S. Sound by iVillage. sakes. —D. Channing Muller
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has an uncanny resemblance to the look of the 2009 gala,” said Cassis. “It’s very baroque, and very red. And people hadn’t seen the ballrooms yet, so at the beginning they thought this was just a continuation of last year’s event.” Instead, the ballroom had a blue-and-white look designed by Tom Kehoe of Kehoe Designs. Meant to represent the future, the space held fog The Diffa AIDS fund-raiser got fog machines that imparted “an ethereal, othermachines and a futuristic theme. worldly, almost dewy quality,” said Cassis. “The room felt like a movie during a ﬂash-forward seA red, white, and blue color scheme quence. It had the feeling of not being in the now.” CHICAGO is a staple of summertime parties. The event raked in an estimated $365,000 But at the June 12 gala for the Chicago chapter of and drew 520 guests. Design Industries Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS, the Apart from raising Foundation Fighting hues nodded to something other than the Ameri- funds, the evening AIDS Chicago’s Gala can ﬂag. According to co-chair Richard Cassis, the served as the unofblack-tie affair used red to represent the past, ﬁcial social kickoff of Catering, Sound, Venue Palmer House Hilton while blue and white symbolized the future. NeoCon, a confer“The overarching theme for the Diffa Chicago ence and expo for the Decor, Design Kehoe Designs campaign is ‘believe,’ and we started that last contract furnishings DJ, Entertainment Circuit year,’” said Cassis. “In 2009, the gala concept was industry that took Mom Productions ‘Believe in the magic of the moment.’ The whole place at the Merchan- Entertainment Opus 3 Artists thing was very done up, with gilded frames and dise Mart earlier in Event Management, lush reds and purples. This year, our vision was ‘Be- the week. The crowd Production Total Event lieve 2010, see 2020,’ which represented a perfect was mostly NeoCon Resources Graphic Design, Printing, vision of an AIDS-free world. So we were talking attendees, including Signage, Web Site Design about the future, which we hope is a world with- interior designers, Sparc Inc. out AIDS.” fashion designers, and Lighting VLS Inc. To infuse the gala with a futuristic vibe, executives from such Linens Sculptware, BBJ Linen planners—somewhat ironically—wanted to start companies as SteelVideo PSAV Presentation in the past. “We started with cocktails in the Red case and Herman Services Lacquer Room of the Palmer House Hilton, which Miller. —Jenny Berg
Long tables held rectangular vases wrapped in the Diffa logo.
An illuminated blue wall served as a backdrop for the evening’s speaking program.
PHOTOS: RYAN SJOSTROM (TABLES) RANDY MICHAEL KORWIN/RMK PHOTO (BLUE WALL)
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By a Nose The Watermill Center’s paradisethemed beneﬁt included painted performers and a custom event scent. Still regarded as one of the bigger events in the Hamptons, the Watermill Center’s summer beneﬁt is also among the most visually creative, year after year ﬁlling Built of found objects, timber, and the six acres of its Long Island campus with an driftwood, Al Stark’s “Future City Eaters” array of unusual installations and performers. For tree house-like installation sat in the the 17th iteration of the fund-raiser on July 24, back of Watermill Center’s woods. the theme was “Paradiso,” after the third part of Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, and artists interpreted this with costumes, sound, movement, and A series of TVs showed the phases of the sculpture. Ranging from a white ﬁberglass ape moon. This one was buried in the ground, to a dunk tank-like cubicle where an artist was so it sometimes got stepped on. doused in paint, the work included mixed media, live performance, and installations. The gala also saw the ﬁrst collaboration between Robert Wilson’s arts center and International Flavors & Fragrances for the creation of a perfume inspired by the event and its location. Dubbed WM Paradiso 2010, the scent made by senior perfumer Loc Dong was sprayed during the beneﬁt using diffusers from Prolitec and 100 bottles were included in the night’s auction. Sharon Stone—who hosted the live auction alongside Simon de Pury of Phillips de Pury & In a new style Company—Calvin Klein, Andre of marionette Watermill Summer Balazs, Salman Rushdie, and theater, the Beneﬁt Alec Baldwin were among puppets those in attendance; the Auctioneer Services Phillips pulled their de Pury & Company event hosted 1,000 guests for own strings. Catering Olivier Cheng cocktails and 600 for dinner. Catering and Events The beneﬁt raised more than DJ Touch of Class DJ and $700,000 in ticket sales and Video Rentals Classic Party will total approximately $1.4 Rentals million when art sales are talTenting P. J. McBride Inc. lied. —Anna Sekula
96 bizbash.com september/october 2010
One hundred bottles of the event’s signature fragrance were sold at the auction.
Sarawut Chutiwongpeti’s mixed-media installation included white ﬁberglass sculptures of skulls and animals.
PHOTOS: ALICE & CHRIS FOR BIZBASH
Inside the center’s Knee building, where the ﬂoor is made up of river rocks, a site-speciﬁc remount of Andrey Bartenev’s “Sunpool” projected images on model Zach Simonson.
Janosch Parker’s “Tornado Machine” was a live performance that splashed the artist with paint while he turned inside a transparent cubicle.
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Yumi Lee, Anna Kendrick, Emmy Rossum, Lindsay Price, and Ashlee Simpson-Wentz worked out together at the Reebok women’s ﬁtness event.
Price and Kendrick sat for treatments at the event.
Rosario Dawson was among the other celebrities who attended— and worked out.
“We hand-picked an amazing indoor-outdoor private residence that backed up to the Hollywood Reservoir,” said Matt Stoelt of the site selection. “We utilized the service road as a running track and picked the location for its natural beauty A Hollywood Hills residence set the and organic Hollywood lifestyle characteristics.” backdrop for an interactive Reebok Stoelt designed and fabricated one-inch-thick event with low-key branding. acrylic freestanding signage that allowed the brand messaging to appear to ﬂoat, and to allow High atop the Hollywood the natural background—including the letters LOS ANGELES Hills, in an aspirational private of the iconic Hollywood sign—to come through residence, Reebok collected a group of editors and while the participants worked out. Other undercelebrities to show off three of its lines on July stated design elements included frosted glass 16. But the event was not the typical promotransfers and gallery wrap outputs. tional affair with logos galore and heavy-handed “Integrating the band organically into the branding. Instead, Reebok global director Dianne home was our core focus. Just a few simple touch Hayes and global event manager Bryan Weinstein points were utilized to convey the brand presworked with Stoelt Productions to ence,” Stoelt said. Reebok Women’s create a ﬁtness event that felt more In ﬁtness-conscious Los AngeFitness Event organic—like an extension of the les, it seems even event guests are Southern California ﬁtness lifestyle, expected to break a sweat: The forCatering Tres L.A. Catering Flowers Holly Flora you might say. The program incormat of subtle branding in a private Design, Lighting, porated running, cross training, and residence to create an immersive, Production, Sound Stoelt an at-home workout, each of which interactive experience was also Productions related directly to the RUNtone, present at another recent ﬁtness PR Feinstein/McGuiness PR Rentals Classic Party ZIGtech, and EASYtone lines being event, the Muscle Milk Fitness ReRentals showcased. treat. —Alesandra Dubin
PHOTOS: ALBERTO E. RODRIGUEZ/WIREIMAGE (CELEBRITIES WORKING OUT TOGETHER, ROSARIO DAWSON), JESSE GRANT/WIREIMAGE (TREATMENTS)
In front of a Brooklyn Bridge backdrop and a large video screen, models paraded 15 looks for each of the three womenswear designer of the year nominees.
In lieu of a single M.C., each award presenter carried the show during his or her segment, and stood behind a lectern customized with hundreds of crystals from underwriter Swarovski.
The Alexander McQueen tribute was the night’s most technically challenging aspect, involving 16 models walking onto a set that revolved to reveal a French drawing roominspired vignette complete with a Swarovski chandelier.
of the three designers nominated for womenswear designer of the year. To extend this preshow installation, KCD incorporated the models into the presentation of the award later in the evening. “It bookended the evening perfectly, because they The ﬁne-tuned C.F.D.A. Awards saw live were the ﬁrst thing you saw and the last thing fashion shows and a revolving stage set. you saw,” said KCD senior director of production Tobi Armstrong. With a wave of fashion-related acAlso visually evocative was the stage set NEW YORK tivity set to arrive at Lincoln Center itself, which allowed the producers to continuthis September for Fashion Week, the Council of ously switch the colors and textures behind the Fashion Designers of America solidiﬁed the emer- presenters and award winners as well as create gence of fashion on campus with the sophomore vibrant backdrops for the two live fashion shows. staging of its annual awards at Alice Tully Hall on Shaped like Richard Serra’s “Torqued Ellipse IV” June 7. Attended by some 700 guests, including sculpture, Scott Pask’s scenery featured two honorees Michael Kors, Burberry’s curvilinear fabric walls around a C.F.D.A. Awards Christopher Bailey, and supermodel central cylinder that were painted Iman, the event sought to build on with different video projections Catering Catering by Restaurant Associates the look and staging of previous for each of the ceremony’s 18 segiterations and modify elements for a Invitations Alpine Creative ments. “So much of the awards Group Inc. more efﬁcient ceremony. show format is dominated by Lighting IMCD Lighting KCD’s team worked alongside video, we really tried to create an PR, Production KCD Worldwide the C.F.D.A. to coordinate the efunexpected and dynamic video Security GSS Security forts of sponsor and decor partner surface,” Armstrong said. Services, Inc. Swarovski, graphic design compoThis change also accommoSet Design Scott Pask nents from Laird & Partners, and dated a format that didn’t include Scenic Design Sound ADI Group the set created by scenic designer a host. Among the night’s winners Staging Kadan Productions Scott Pask. were womenswear designer of Inc. One of the most eye-catching the year Marc Jacobs, menswear Venue Lincoln Center visuals introduced last year was the designer of the year David Neville Video Design Batwin & Robin Productions Inc. phalanx of models posed on the and Marcus Wainwright of Rag & Video Technician Scharff steps of the hall’s entrance, each Bone, and accessories designer of Weisberg representing a key look from one the year Alexis Bittar. —Jim Shi
PHOTOS: BILLY FARRELL/PATRICKMCMULLAN.COM
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Guests could design T-shirts with one of four Heineken images.
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Ballroom seats 225 with dancing, Windows face North and South.
The beer company’s logo decorated the railings of the building’s atrium and central sculpture.
The Cold War Kids performed on the second ﬂoor, which overlooks the main atrium of the Moore Building.
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Beer Hall Heineken staged a two-day activation to kick off its summer tour. Heineken launched its Inspire tour in Miami on May 21 with a two-day experience-based activation at the Moore Building. Produced by New York-based Relevent, the event brought 3,000 Heineken and music lovers to the design district before heading to Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles. “Heineken was looking to do something different this summer and develop something that was more for the consumer and captures the essence of the brand,” said brand marketing manager Pattie Falch. “It’s not really a music concert, [but more of] a full experience for consumers.” The invite-only event drew attendees by marketing on Facebook. Consumers over the age of 21 that became fans of Heineken and requested information on the Inspire tour
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received tickets to the activation in their city. Relevent created various on-site activities that had consumers interacting with the Heineken brand. In one area, Fender representatives provided 15- and 30-minute guitar lessons. Attendees could also make their own silk-screened T-shirt with one of four Heineken designs. Two bartenders poured samples of the brand’s various Heineken Inspire Tour beers, including its Additional Stafﬁng, PR Heineken Extra MS&L Group Cold draft that Audiovisual Production, serves the beer at Lighting, Staging Everlast 32 degrees. Certiﬁed Productions Catering CuisineWorks cicerone (a.k.a. beer sommelier) Steve Ri- Design, Event Management, Production, ley gave tutorials on Rentals Relevent Group LLC pouring the perfect Models Victory Models and Event Stafﬁng beer. PR RL Public Relations & Throughout the Marketing, Team Epiphany weekend eight DJs Rentals Classic Party and acts like the Rentals—New York Sound, Staging ESP New Cold War Kids and York Fabolous performed. Venue Moore Building —D. Channing Muller
PHOTOS: SETH BROWARNIK/WORLDREDEYE.COM
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Combining elements of Christmas and Hanukkah, Toronto’s Regent Park School of Music staged a Chrismukkah beneﬁt with a modern winter look. McNabb Roick (416.703.1000, mcnabbroickevents.com) hung oversize snowﬂakes, stars, and icicles while Westbury National Show Systems (416.752.1371, westbury.com) lit the room in shades of blue and purple.
End-of-the-year gatherings haven’t been a top priority over the past few years, but they are still an important way to show appreciation. Here are ideas from real holiday parties and the people who plan them. By LISA CERICOLA
Hargrove Inc. (301.306.9000, hargroveinc.com) transformed the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s H Street headquarters into a rustic ski lodge complete with a 20- by 30-foot faux stone ﬁreplace, a lifelike stuffed moose head, six-foot-tall wooden reindeer, and a massive Christmas tree.
STEAL TH IS I D EA
Large-scale projections brought a winter setting to sunny Los Angeles for DirecTV’s annual holiday party. Fireﬂy LA (323.571.1447, ﬁreﬂyla.com) and the Hand Company (818.843.2402, thehandcompany.com) projected snow-covered forests, icicles, and other scenes onto a 120- by 140-foot tent on DirecTV’s campus.
New York-based Internet company IAC hired Frank Alexander (212.677.5176, frankalexandernyc.com) to capture the Viceroy Santa Monica’s sophisticated cabanas with green and white rentals from Taylor Creative Inc. (888.245.4044, taylorcreativeinc. com) and colorful, arty lighting by Glow Design Group (646.201.9557, glowdesigngroup.com).
“When decorating a conference room, make the table the central focus by creating a runner installation. Use white plush fabric adorned with white and silver ornaments. Incorporate height by propping white feather mini trees on either side of the table, which can be adorned with a touch of red. If the ofﬁce has glass windows, you can create a bigger statement by designing holiday graphics that frame your table-runner installation.” Shai Tertner, president, Shiraz Events, New York and Miami (212.255.7001, shirazevents.com)
bizbash.com september/october 2010 105
Employees of Astellas Pharma U.S. Inc. teamed up with Total Event Resources (847.397.2200, total-event.com) to celebrate the season by building 48 bicycles for children from Chicago Youth Centers, a local nonproﬁt organization. About 40 kids showed up at the end of the event to surprise the company’s staffers, who then surprised them with their new bikes.
Activities Instead of a single evening of festivities, Minnetonka, Minnesota-based Carlson Companies held 12 days of events. Activities included an employee-cooked progressive meal that took place over several ﬂoors and an ofﬁce-wide scavenger hunt with clues via e-mail throughout the day. Prizes included an iPod Touch, a Sleep Number bed, and box seats at a Bon Jovi concert.
Joffrey Ballet’s Nutcracker family dinner in Chicago had kid-friendly touches including apple cider and Sprite cocktails, strolling magicians, and an activity station with a branded Lego tower provided by “brick artist” Beth Weis (847.494.5346, bethweis.com).
STEAL TH IS I D EA
“We hired My Party Impressions (416.963.8302, mypartyimpressions.com) to provide a ﬂip book station, which was a huge hit at the event. The guests had a blast creating their own unique scenes, and it was a great take-home for them as well.”
STEAL TH IS I D EA
“Last year we were on a tight budget, so we hired Precision Event Group (310.285.0420, precisionus.com) to turn one of our parking lots into a dance club complete with DJ—who was spinning from above the crowd on an industrial staircase—and, of course, a disco ball. Our employees loved it.” Pam Byrne, executive director, studio services, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Los Angeles
106 bizbash.com september/october 2010
At a holiday-themed event to celebrate the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Event Architects (888.365.4511, event-architects. com) brought in a pair of professional ice skaters who performed on an elevated skating rink.
The South Floridabased Ofﬁce Depot Foundation held a holiday party with a tropical theme. Boca By Design (561.447.3349, bocabydesign. com) brought in live ﬂamingos, parrots, and other creatures from Rainforest Aviaries and Gardens (305.246.5930) and Jesse Williams Ranch (305.238.5437, jessewilliamsranch.com) for photo ops and atmosphere.
PHOTOS: PAUL STEVEN PHOTOGRAPHY (OFFICE DEPOT), COURTESY OF CARLSON, MATTHEW KAPLAN PHOTOGRAPHY (ASTELLAS), ERIC CRAIG FOR BIZBASH (JOFFREY), RICK AGUILAR STUDIOS (CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL), COURTESY OF PRECISION EVENT GROUP, BIZBASH (HIGH ROAD)
Laura Bryce, account executive, High Road Communications, Toronto
PHOTOS: JEROME ENO FOR BIZBASH (STYLE BOSTON), VICTORIA JACOB (URBANDADDY), MIREYA ACIERTO FOR BIZBASH (CHOCOLATE), COURTESY OF BLUE PLATE, NIKKI LEIGH MCKEAN FOR BIZBASH (CAPITOL C), COURTESY OF EATERTAINMENT
At a holiday party hosted by Style Boston and Boston Magazine, the Catered Affair (781.982.9333, thecateredaffair.com) served tuna tartare with wasabi aioli on a tray accented with wheatgrass and peppers—traditional Christmas colors on unexpected objects.
Food & Drinks STEAL TH IS I DEA
Online magazine UrbanDaddy held a holiday party for its New York readers with a dessert bar piled high with macaroons, cakes, and other sweets from several local bakeries.
STEAL TH IS I D EA “It’s back to basics: comfort food with an air of sophistication for our clients this year. Gourmet grilled cheese is in high demand. We serve spicy Genoa salami and aged cheddar with tomato and green apple and Brie with crushed walnuts and watercress.” Sebastien Centner, director, Eatertainment Special Events and Catering, Toronto (416.964.1162, eatertainment.com) Match Restaurant (905.850.5699, matchyyz. com) created a menu inspired by fairy tales and 1960s op art, the theme of Torontobased marketing agency Capital C’s party. Psychedelic trays held chicken dipped in gooseberry-plum sauce.
At the AIDS Foundation of Chicago’s holidaythemed World of Chocolate event, guests sipped vanilla- and cinnamon-spiced hot chocolate from mini pipettes by the Signature Room at the 95th (312.787.9596, signatureroom.com).
“It’s the return of the specialty cocktail. We don’t foresee clients returning to the luxury bar packages, but rather sticking with beer, wine, and soda, with a specialty drink added for creativity and variety.” Loren Johnson, sales consultant, Blue Plate Catering, Chicago (312.421.6666, blueplatechicago.com)
Capital C’s event also had seasonal cocktails like Santa’s Beard (white chocolate liqueur, half and half, a hint of peppermint, and crushed candy canes).
Blue Plate’s Red Sombrero incorporates tequila, Sprite, pink grapefruit juice, kumquats, and pomegranate seeds.
bizbash.com september/october 2010 107
Guests at the Museum of Modern Art’s annual Party in the Garden dined on a simple heirloom tomato and buffalo mozzarella salad by Glorious Food.
Catering Trends 2010
PHOTO: KEITH SIRCHIO FOR BIZBASH
Where High Meets Low You never know what might be on the menu at an event these days. Bowls of unadorned fruit. Fancy box meals. Edible art installations of donuts. Grilled cheese sandwiches made with a clothing iron.
Although chicken dinners—often locally sourced, these days—are still served at galas and other formal functions, today’s menus regularly mix upscale and casual. A recent beneﬁt dinner in Chicago included passed pulled pork sliders, an appetizer of caviar and smoked salmon, and mini root beer ﬂoats for dessert. At a New York dinner, dressed-up guests carved whole roast turkeys and rabbits. Tried and true comfort foods like burgers and nachos are still making the rounds on catering trays, but so are cotton candy-wrapped shrimp. Meanwhile, guests are more food-obsessed than ever, staying up on sustainable ingredients, cooking techniques, and the latest big-name chefs. To meet these high stan-
dards, caterers are sourcing food from local farmers, plating dishes artfully, and keeping up with the latest trends. Some are even giving attendees more control over what’s on their plates. Customization is everywhere, from D.I.Y. cocktails to small-plate buffets that allow attendees to pick and choose from a range of offerings. Here’s a look at the trends and ideas that epitomize this moment in catering—event food that feels comfortable and considered, not formal or fussy, with a focus on giving guests an experience that’s not ostentatiously expensive. By LISA CERICOLA
bizbash.com september/october 2010 109
Guests roasted marshmallows and assembled their own s’mores at an Occasions Caterers station at MSNBC’s White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner after-party.
What’s Next “Menu items that speak of value and prudence, such as organic chicken or whole brownies with whipped cream for dessert. These items, when done well, are as satisfying as any four-star dinner, without the cost and perception of possible corporate excess.” Peter Callahan, owner, Callahan Catering, New York
For The Twilight Saga: Eclipse premiere in Los Angeles, Along Came Mary served lunch trays with fried chicken and mashed potatoes as a nod to the movie’s high school cafeteria.
Ciudad Catering provided tacos for Sony Pictures Television’s employee appreciation day in Los Angeles.
Staffers from Creative Edge used clothing irons to make grilled cheese sandwiches at a party celebrating New York-based event production ﬁrm MKG’s new ofﬁce space.
What’s Next “Thanks to the rise in popularity of food trucks across the country, we predict a lot of ethnic street food on menus in 2011. We’ll see a rise in Middle Eastern fare—falafel bars with hummus, baba ganoush, stuffed grape leaves, and couscous.” Michael Baker, owner, Bakers’ Best Catering, Boston
ON BIZBASH.COM More of the latest food ideas
PHOTOS: KEITH SIRCHIO FOR BIZBASH (AMERICAN IDIOT), COURTESY OF ALONG CAME MARY, DALE WILCOX (SONY PICTURES), COURTESY OF MKG, TONY BROWN/IMIJINATION PHOTOGRAPHY FOR BIZBASH (MSNBC)
LAID-BACK COMFORT FOOD
For the Broadway opening party for American Idiot in New York, Canard set up buffet stations with Frito pies, chips and dip, homemade Pop Tarts, and sandwiches made to order.
At the International C.T.I.A. Wireless show in Las Vegas, Aramark Catering provided small desserts like cupcakes and strawberry shortcakes for a Sprint event.
“Our team is excited about highly seasonal, single-ingredient stations offering sweet and savory dishes along with beverage pairings. From strawberries to tomatoes to autumn root vegetables, we see this as a fun, interesting addition. Also big cooking classes as social gatherings. These types of events are hands-on, interactive, and incredibly memorable and were inspired by the realization that many great parties end with everyone congregating around the kitchen.”
PHOTOS: MATT MAYFIELD (C.T.I.A.), GUSTAVO CAMPOS (NEW BALANCE), CHARITY DE MEER FOR BIZBASH (POW WOW), STEPHANIE LEWIN (LONGHOUSE RESERVE)
Robb Garceau, executive chef of Union Square Events, New York
Chicago’s Limelight Catering offered jerk chicken skewers with plantain chips at the Parkways Foundation’s Galapalooza fund-raiser.
At Boston magazine’s annual Best of Boston event, Au Soleil Catering served ﬂatbread with goat cheese and vegetables.
Creative food displays, including salad stations, abounded at parties held at the Magic Kingdom and other Orlando theme parks for the U.S. Travel Association’s International Pow Wow.
At LongHouse Reserve’s summer gala in New York, Canard served gazpacho in three ﬂavors during the cocktail hour.
bizbash.com september/october 2010 111
Boston’s International Contemporary Art Museum’s annual spring fund-raising event included a martini juice bar by Max Ultimate Food.
At the Fragrance Foundation’s Fiﬁ Awards in New York, sponsor Grey Goose deployed its global ambassador of French brands with a roving cocktail cart.
V.I.P. ticket holders at ArtEdge, a beneﬁt for Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, sat in reserved lounge area with bottle service and plenty of mixers by Wolfgang Puck Catering.
“Savory cocktails such as pickled ramp martinis or butternut drams will go from being esoteric curiosities for connoisseurs to being introduced and enjoyed by a wider audience.”
Washington’s Design Cuisine offers a champagne bar with four stations offering add-ins such as liquors, fruit, herbs, and edible accompaniments.
Bronson van Wyck, president, Van Wyck & Van Wyck, New York
ORNATE DESSERTS Chefs at the Mandarin Oriental in Miami used painted-on ﬂames and other garnishes to turn a few macaroons into a bold dessert for the “Be a Voice, Feel the Magic” gala. At Loyola University Chicago’s founders’ dinner, guests ate green tea cake with white chocolatelemongrass buttercream by Blue Plate.
At the Harry Potter-inspired LG Innovators’ Ball at the Ontario Science Center, chef Jamie Kennedy served a layered dessert dubbed Boarding School Blancmange.
What’s Next Grand Cuisine Caterers created a ﬂametopped white chocolate mascarpone cheesecake with blackberry gelée for a dinner at the Library of Congress honoring Paul McCartney’s Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.
“There will be a continuation of savory-sweet combinations in everything from bar snacks to desserts and beyond—and more impactful dishes with interesting spice combinations, such as ﬁve-spice beef and chili and spice brownies.” Kelven Book, account executive, Canard, New York
PHOTOS: KEITH SIRCHIO FOR BIZBASH (FIFI AWARDS), AVIRAN LEVY FOR BIZBASH (ICA MUSEUM), COURTESY OF DESIGN CUISINE, COURTESY OF ONTARIO SCIENCE CENTER, TONY BROWN/IMIGINATION PHOTOGRAPHY (LIBRARY OF CONGRESS), STEVE BECKER PHOTOGRAPHY (LOYOLA), COURTESY OF “BE THE VOICE, FEEL THE MAGIC” GALA
Top Chef winner Michael Voltaggio served a futuristic take on a buffalo wing (crispy chicken thigh with “Buffalo sauce,” celery puree, and nitro blue cheese) at Food & Wine’s annual Best New Chefs event in New York.
At the Presidents at the Pops beneﬁt show at Boston’s Symphony Hall, Boston Gourmet served preprogram canapés and cocktails, then guests dined on boxed meals of beef tenderloin at their seats after the reception. At the James Beard Awards in New York, Dahlia Naverez of Mozza in Los Angeles made butterscotch budinos with Maldon sea salt, caramel, and rosemary-pine nut cookies.
What’s Next “Different cuts of meat rather than the same old ﬁlet, and nontraditional grains to give the perception of being green, sustainable, and healthy.”
PHOTOS: JESSICA TOROSSIAN FOR BIZBASH (BEST NEW CHEFS), JEROME ENO FOR BIZBASH (PRESIDENTS AT THE POPS), JESSICA TOROSSIAN FOR BIZBASH (JAMES BEARD AWARDS), GARY BEECHEY FOR BIZBASH (TRANSFORMING LIVES AWARDS), NABIL KAPASI/TIMESS LENS PHOTOGRAPHY (INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL)
Adelee V. Cabrera, chief operations ofﬁcer and director of sales, A Joy Wallace Catering, Miami
CASUAL FARE GOES UPSCALE EDIBLE CENTERPIECES At the Center for Addiction and Mental Health’s Transforming Lives Awards in Toronto, Presidential Gourmet created centerpieces out of potted herbs and a selection of skewered hors d’oeuvres, including salami and pickles. At an event to showcase its catering staff and event spaces, the Intercontinental Hotel Boston created a chocolate tree adorned with pieces of fruit.
Jewell Events Catering prepared lobster remoulade with a cucumber collar, asparagus, pomegranate seeds, and an edible red rose for a luncheon for Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet.
TD Bank’s Wow! Leadership Awards dinner in Miami included three mini salads—Caesar, Caprese, and chopped—by Barton G.
At the Art Institute of Chicago’s gala for a new Matisse exhibition, Blue Plate served citrus-poached salmon roulade with Meyer lemon curd, watercress, blood orange, and European cucumber aspic.
What’s Next “The biggest trend our clients are asking for is to incorporate global ﬂavors into another big trend of late: American comfort foods. Grandma’s meatloaf with an Asian twist, Dad’s barbecue with French ﬂair, Mom’s Sunday pot roast with Latin ﬂavors.” Bill Starbuck, executive chef and vice president of catering, Along Came Mary, Los Angeles
Catering company Creative Edge started its 20th anniversary dinner in New York with an artfully plated tomato tartare.
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF JS2 PRODUCTIONS (GOVERNORS BALL), MATT HORTON/ARTIST GROUP PHOTOGRAPHY FOR BIZBASH (TD BANK), CHRISTIAN GRATTAN PHOTOGRAPHY (CREATIVE EDGE), ERIC CRAIG FOR BIZBASH (ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO)
Guests were served an elegant ﬁrst course of seasonal vegetables from Patina Catering at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Governors Ball in 2009.
Glorious Food topped bars with crudité and dip at the Historic House Trust’s Founders Award Dinner in New York.
For the Friends of the High Line summer beneﬁt in New York, Bite Food set out bowls of seasonal fruit and vegetables from the Greenmarket for nibbling during cocktails.
PHOTOS: ROGER DONG FOR BIZBASH (HIGH LINE), KEITH SIRCHIO FOR BIZBASH (HISTORIC HOUSE TRUST), TONY BROWN/IMIJINATION PHOTOGRAPHY FOR BIZBASH (PATRON), BIZBASH (BURGER BASH), COURTESY OF DANIEL ET DANIEL, ERIC CRAIG FOR BIZBASH (AIDS FOUNDATION)
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES What’s Next Guests helped themselves to cheese and fruit plates and shots of hummus with raw veggies at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago’s 25th anniversary gala at the Hilton Chicago.
Daniel et Daniel served grilled tiger shrimp on sugar cane skewers spun with wasabi cotton candy at Power Ball 12 in Toronto.
“Functional foods with health beneﬁts will play a part in cuisine for 2011 and beyond. ‘Black’ foods such as black soybeans, black rice, and black sesame biscuits have cholesterol-lowering and weight-control beneﬁts. We will also incorporate iron- and calcium-rich sea vegetables, like sea oak (arame), light brown kelp, and hiziki black sea grass into our dishes.” Pasquale Ingenito, executive chef, Windows Catering Company, Washington
COTTON CANDY Mixologist Gina Chersevani of Washington restaurant PS7’s topped drinks with cotton candy at a Patron-sponsored charity cocktail reception.
ON BIZBASH.COM More food ideas, contact information for the ﬁrms featured here, and local catering directories
At the South Beach Food & Wine Festival’s Burger Bash, Washington’s Good Stuff Eatery served a bacon cheeseburger with a pink cotton candy-topped milk shake.
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Food for Thought Jennifer Rubell’s unconventional approach to catering has people second-guessing the seated dinner. By MICHAEL O’CONNELL Catching cheese dripping from the ceiling with crackers, butchering your own rabbit for the main course, and popping balloons to get at a piece of cake aren’t activities familiar to the beneﬁt crowd. But Jennifer Rubell is changing that by bringing her own vision of interactive, art-inspired meals to events. Daughter of Miami art collectors Donald and Mera Rubell—and niece of Studio 54 co-founder Steve Rubell—the 40-year-old entrepreneur has worn many hats in her career: food writer, hostess, hotelier, vintner. She sees this latest job as her two worlds colliding, a happy fusion of food and conceptual art. “For me, it’s purely about whether a project is interesting and if it connects to art history,” Rubell says of the select events she’s taken on since forging her latest career. It started almost 10 years ago when her family ﬁrst asked her to host a now-annual breakfast at the Rubell Family Collection during Art Basel Miami Beach. Jennifer’s playful execution of the earlier meals included grids of Styrofoam cups ﬁlled with instant coffee, mountains of bananas, walls of doughnuts hanging from nails, and tables covered with eggs, bacon, and croissants,
Rubell at her family’s Art Basel Miami Beach breakfast with only latex gloves as serving utensils. Before long, she overheard a guest ask, “Who’s the artist?” “I just started doing these projects without really knowing what they were, but when I looked at them, I could see the conceptual underpinning that had been there the whole time,” she says. “And there were key people who recognized that in my work.” One of them was RoseLee Goldberg, the art historian and founder of Performa, a New York arts nonproﬁt known almost as much for its biennial festival as its high-concept fund-raisers.
Keeping with an Adam and Eve theme, Rubell placed small felled apple trees beside piles of cleaned apples for the picking.
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“As somebody who goes to so many beneﬁts in New York that support these great institutions,” Goldberg says, “I ﬁnd that everyone enjoys that ﬁrst hour when you can chat and walk around, before you have to sit down and basically work for the rest of the night.” Goldberg commissioned her longtime friend’s ﬁrst large-scale event, Performa’s 2009 beneﬁt, called “Creation.” Rubell ran with the Garden of Eden theme, littering the ﬂoor with apples beside a felled tree, rigging honey to drip from the ceiling onto piles of ribs, and commissioning chocolatier Jacques Torres to create chocolate Jeff Koons rabbits, which guests happily beat to shards with provided hammers. Soon Rubell was throwing similarly interactive but uniquely inspired meals for the Americas Business Council and the Brooklyn Museum. News coverage and conversations of her work now include the term “food artist” (a moniker previously associated with the butter sculptors of the world), which, for her, means never compromising quality of food for aesthetics. “I really don’t mess around,” she says of her hunt for the right vendors, which, in New York, always includes the caterer Bite. “What I do often has a lot of logistical considerations, so even if somebody is a fantastic cook, they might not be able to pull it off. There needs to be a desire and a willingness to work inside my framework.” Whatever you call what she does, Rubell has had the luxury of working with institutions she admires, hiring vendors whose food she trusts, in venues that she loves—always with complete creative control. But as her distinct brand of entertaining becomes more renowned, she’s getting a lot of unexpected offers. “I got an email from a celebrity wedding planner,” she says, laughing. While such events aren’t high on her list of dream projects, she’s not entirely opposed to them either. “A celebrity wedding in a museum context could be really interesting to me.”
Powdered sugar— a symbol for the greater vice of cocaine—was piled in the 2009 beneﬁt’s dessert area for guests to dip cookies.
Guests used hammers to break chocolate Jeff Koons rabbits into pieces small enough to eat.
ON BIZBASH.COM A video interview with Rubell at the Brooklyn Ball
PHOTOS: KEVIN TAEHMAN (RUBELL), PAULA COURT/PERFORMA (PERFORMA BENEFIT), COURTESY OF JENNIFER RUBELL (BROOKLYN BALL TABLES, BROOKLYN BALL PINATA, COURAGE FORUM, DE PURY WEDDING), BIZBASH (BROOKLYN BALL SPIGOTS, PAINT TUBES, FONTINA CHEESE)
Catering Trends 2010
Spigots planted into blank canvases poured different cocktails and wines to create Jackson Pollack-style splatters.
At the Brooklyn Museum beneﬁt, Rubell tried to use the most basic materials, fashioning serving tables out of standard sheets of plywood. Rubell ﬁlled a 20-foottall pinata of Andy Warhol’s head with Hostess products for dessert.
Paint tubes ﬁlled with dips were piled next to potato chips during the cocktail hour.
Rubell used a cast of her own head to make molds of Fontina cheese in reference to the Bruce Nauman installation “Topological Gardens.”
To get to the dance ﬂoor and the band at this event put on by the Americas Business Council, guests had to take cues from strategically placed hammers and destroy a wall of breakaway prop glass.
The June wedding of Michaela Neumeister and auctioneer Simon de Pury at the Saatchi Gallery included multiple wedding cakes at different stations.
DE PURY WEDDING Cured meats hung from the ceiling for guests to inspect and saw off little bites.
Guests received long pins to pop balloons that held the desserts.
Instead of formal tables, guests sat on beds with family-style meals.
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