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BIZBASH TORONTO

EVENTS MEETINGS MARKETING STYLE STRATEGY IDEAS

Toronto $4.95 WINTER 2010–11 BIZBASH.COM

WINTER 2010–11

F O T S BE

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

PLUS: Sponsor Integrations, Holiday Party Bites, Stylish Stages, Twitter Skepticism, 26 New Venues, Planners’ Favourite Trends & More


TORONTO Volume 6, Issue 3 Winter 2010-11 © 2010 BizBash Media

At the inaugural Paws for the Cause fund-raiser—a benefit for the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals—the event team, led by founder Laura Serra, called on 10 Canadian fashion designers to dress 10 local personalities and 10 dogs. About 250 people attended the runway show and cocktail party at Red Bull 381 Projects on October 28. A nine-image photo series, presented by sponsor Olympus, featured stylish Torontonians with their pets; it was used for event marketing and decor. DJs Greg Ipp and Ian Worang spun tunes from a Red Bull-branded Grill Chef barbecue-turned-DJ booth. Designers Cailliane and Samantha Beckerman, dressed in their own label, walked the runway with their dog Cubby. More photos and details are on BizBash.com.

On the Cover Clockwise from top left: A touch screen game at Samsung’s Vancouver Olympics pavilion, photo by Grant Harder for BizBash; a flying machine at Red Bull’s 2010 Flugtag tour kickoff in Miami, photo courtesy of Red Bull; cellophane chandeliers at the Chicago Botanic Garden’s summer dance, photo by Tay Kaune; digital grafitti at the re-opening of Chanel’s SoHo New York store, photo courtesy of Tangible Interaction; a white neon installation at the opening party for the Hermès men’s store in New York, photo by Clint Spaulding/Patrick McMullan; an artistic interpretation of Lexus’s new hybrid car at the company’s Dark Side of Green environmental debate in Miami, photo by Red Eye Productions

FROM THE EDITORS 4 Tracking the year’s trends READERS’ FORUM 11 What was the best idea you saw in 2010? THE SCOUT 15 Wintry curtains made of ice 16 Passed bites for holiday gatherings 17 Festive glasses and small plates for rent 18 A Canadian aerial-dance cirque company 20 Innovative ideas for stage design 21 What are clever ways to integrate trade show sponsors? 22 11 ideas and products to have on your radar

PHOTOS: GARY BEECHEY FOR BIZBASH

VENUES 24 Five new Toronto venues EVENT REPORTS 28 Toronto International Film Festival’s party circuit 30 Fashion Television’s 25th anniversary bash 31 From New York: Park Avenue Armory’s carnival-themed gala 32 Coast to Coast: HBO’s vintage Atlantic City-inspired Boardwalk Empire launch parties 34 Rethink Breast Cancer’s discothemed Boobyball 35 From Los Angeles: Discovery’s experiential Hub network launch event 36 Scotiabank Nuit Blanche’s allnight art celebration

37 From Washington: Glenn Beck’s 300,000-person Restoring Honor rally 38 From Chicago: Subway postconference gala’s three fresh pavilions 39 Sun Life Financial’s five-city fireworks show 40 Design Exchange’s seventh annual Black & White gala 41 From Miami: Thrillist’s branded hotel and weekend getaway 42 Canadian Opera Company’s Cinderella-themed benefit 47 Best of 2010 The top trends, ideas, designs, and events that shaped this year THE DIRECTORY 63 New venues TED KRUCKEL 64 The limits of social media

ON BIZBASH.COM Comprehensive local venue and supplier directories The latest industry news Local sites for Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami/South Florida, New York, Orlando, Toronto, and Washington

bizbash.com winter 2010–11 3


From the Editors

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I hate the word trendy. It’s one of those terms that can say more about the person using it than the thing it’s supposed to describe. For some people, what’s trendy is what’s already too popular; for others, it’s the new thing they don’t quite understand yet. For many, trendy suggests something is inauthentic—people always seem to pronounce the word with a note of condescension. It’s like when someone says, “You’re so hip!” They think they sound selfdeprecating (“I can’t keep up with fashion/music/ whatever!”), but often it’s a backhanded compliment (“I don’t have time for such silly things, but You could call the Ace Hotel trendy, it’s cute that you do!”). but I call its restaurant, the Breslin, The fact is, what you my favourite current lunch spot. consider trendy often events in this particular moment? depends on where you How did the top minds adapt to the are on the coolhunting/ new products, cultural influences, and early-adopter scale. (My economic constraints of the day? apologies if you find We hope the 15 pages of photos, those terms equally obcase studies, and comments from noxious.) As connotationThrillist’s party during the New industry folks—and the stories in the ridden as trendy is, often York City Wine & Food Festival its meaning is too hard to had a beer-and-bourbon theme. rest of the issue—tell that story, from food trucks to social media to event pin down. So the word is I’m a fan of both, but we’ve all makeovers, and give you some ideas banned from these pages. seen enough bacon on event for 2011 as well. (See also: party planner, menus for a while, no? There’s also value in questioning fashionista.) some trends, as Ted Kruckel does in his column But you’re likely to find its root, trend, here a on the unproven marketing value of promotional lot. We—the editors and you readers, too, not to Twitter messages. mention your guests—are obsessed with trends. One trend we should all be happy to see is a We want to know what’s current, what’s new, growing sense of optimism for the event busiwhat we need to move on from before everyone ness. In a survey of readers we conducted online else is doing it, what we need to move on to. in September, 77 percent chose bullish responses The nature of the event business requires you to when asked to describe the economic state of stay on top of what’s happening in food, design, the industry. Meanwhile, spending appears to be entertainment, technology, art, theatre, and pop rising: 41 percent of readers said their September culture, so you can create experiences that feel 2010 budgets were up from September 2009 levcurrent and ahead of the curve. els, 28 percent said their budgets were flat, and Identifying trends was our prime directive in putting together our Best of 2010 package. In ad- 31 percent reported reduced spending. For another take on ’10, we asked our budition to showcasing some of the cleverest ideas reau chiefs to describe 10 highlights in their we saw, we wanted to the story of this year markets—the groundbreaking local venues, new ON BIZBASH.COM tell events, and innovative ideas that kept them for the industry. What 10 highlights of 2010 were the obsessions, co- excited about covering this industry at this time. from each of our local incidences, and innova- You’ll find their commentary on BizBash.com in markets tions that characterized December. —Chad Kaydo

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

How do you sum up a year?


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BIZBASH EDITOR IN CHIEF Chad Kaydo NEWS EDITOR Courtney Thompson STYLE EDITOR Lisa Cericola ASSOCIATE EDITOR Anna Sekula

CHICAGO EDITOR/BUREAU CHIEF Jenny Berg

LOS ANGELES EDITOR/BUREAU CHIEF Alesandra Dubin

MIAMI EDITOR/BUREAU CHIEF D. Channing Muller

ORLANDO EDITOR/BUREAU CHIEF Mitra Sorrells

TORONTO EDITOR/BUREAU CHIEF Susan O’Neill

WASHINGTON EDITOR/BUREAU CHIEF T.J. Walter

ART ART DIRECTOR Joey Bouchard ASSISTANT ART/PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Carolyn Curtis

PHOTO PHOTO EDITOR Jeeyun Lee ASSISTANT PHOTO EDITOR Amber Knowles

COPY & RESEARCH ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR Claire Hoffman EDITORIAL INTERN Jessica Flores

A vibrant new literary and cultural commons in the heart of the city

TORONTO PUBLIC LIBRARY

CONTRIBUTORS EDITOR AT LARGE Ted Kruckel WRITER AT LARGE, LOS ANGELES Irene Lacher CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Michael O’Connell, Mimi O’Connor, Brendan Spiegel, Erin Souza, Ellen Sturm Niz CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Meryl Rothstein, Andi Teran LOS ANGELES: Rosalba Curiel, Shilpa Gopinath TORONTO: Amy Lazar, Erin Letson WASHINGTON: Adele Chapin, Walter Nicholls COPY EDITORS Libby Estell, Josh Wimmer CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Vincent Dillio, Roger Dong, Nick Ferrari, Emily Gilbert, Dan Hallman, John Minchillo, Alice and Chris Ross, Keith Sirchio BOSTON: Aviran Levy, Patrick Piasecki CHICAGO: Mireya Acierto, Tyllie Barbosa, Barry Brecheisen, Eric Craig, Jeremy Lawson, Eddie Quinones LOS ANGELES: Matt Armendariz, BEImages, Jessica Boone, Nadine Froger, Line 8 Photography, Zen Sekizawa, Dale Wilcox MIAMI: Joseph Cancellare & Associates, Matthew Horton, Moris Moreno, Elizabeth Renfrow, Mitchell Zachs TORONTO: Gary Beechey, Jill Kitchener, Henry Lin, Emma McIntyre, Nicki Leigh McKean, George Pimentel WASHINGTON: Tony Brown/Imijination Photo, Stephen Elliot, FotoBriceno, Powers and Crewe EDITORIAL OFFICES 21 West 38th St., 13th Floor, New York, NY 10018 phone: 646.638.3600, fax: 646.638.3601 CHICAGO BUREAU 312.436.2525 LOS ANGELES BUREAU 310.659.9510 MIAMI BUREAU 1450 NE 123 St., North Miami, FL 33161 305.808.3535 TORONTO BUREAU 2453 Yonge St., Suite 101, Toronto, ON M4P 2E8 416.425.6380

Registration Web Development Online Evites Lead Retrieval www.events-registration.com

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CONTACT US Editorial Feedback and Ideas: edit@bizbash.com Event Invitations, Press Releases: nyevents@bizbash.com Directory Listings: listings@bizbash.com Subscription Inquiries: 646.839.6835, subscriptions@bizbash.com New Subscriptions: bizbash.com/subscribe Subscription Renewals: bizbash.com/renew Reprints: Dani Rose, The YGS Group 800.494.9051 ext. 125, bizbash@theygsgroup.com BIZBASH MASTERPLANNER CHAIRMAN Elisabeth Familian NEW YORK EDITOR Alexandra Anza LOS ANGELES EDITOR Leslee Komaiko BIZBASH MEDIA C.E.O. AND FOUNDER David Adler PRESIDENT Richard Aaron BOARD OF DIRECTORS Jonathan Adler (CHAIRMAN), Richard Aaron, David Adler, Beverly Chell, Martin Maleska, Todd Pietri


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BIZBASH SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF SALES & MARKETING Robert Fitzgerald CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER David Micciulla

MARKETING MARKETING MANAGER Aram Fischer MARKETING ASSISTANT Michael Marvin

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

EVENTS SENIOR EVENTS MANAGER Sheryl Olaskowitz

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

BIZBASH NEW YORK 646.638.3600, fax: 646.638.3601 PUBLISHER Jacqueline Gould ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Lauren Stonecipher ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Erica Fand, Kristie Hudson BIZBASH BOSTON 617.340.3914 ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Andrew Carlin BIZBASH CHICAGO 312.436.2525 PUBLISHER Susan Babin ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Julia Kearney BIZBASH FLORIDA 305.808.3531 PUBLISHER Ann Keusch BIZBASH LAS VEGAS 702.425.8513 ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Jane Yoo BIZBASH LOS ANGELES 310.659.9510 PUBLISHER Hofite Huddleston SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Mandana Valiyee BIZBASH TORONTO ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Michael Braun ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Joshua Harris BIZBASH WASHINGTON 202.684.8743 PUBLISHER Shelley Golinsky TORONTO ADVISORY BOARD Dionne Bishop, MARKETING COORDINATOR, DIRECT ENERGY CENTRE/ALLSTREAM CENTRE; Samantha Brickman, PRESIDENT, MAS COMMUNICATIONS; Rob Dittmer, PRESIDENT, EV3NTS; Rachel Gilmour-Mangal, NATIONAL EVENT MANAGER, STRATEGY INSTITUTE; Cameron Hawkins, C.O.O., VISION CO.; Julie Holmen, DIRECTOR, CORPORATE SALES, TOURISM TORONTO; Marsha Jones, PRESIDENT, THE SPOT INC. SITE SELECTION SERVICES; Patricia Lakin, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL EVENTS, BELL CANADA; Joann Lim, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, TO PLAY INTERNATIONAL; Jacqueline Lovell-Santos, DIRECTOR, CATERING SERVICES, METRO TORONTO CONVENTION CENTRE; Lara McCulloch-Carter, CUSTOMER ATTRACTION SPECIALIST, READY2SPARK; Dennis Mills, VICE CHAIRMAN, MAGNA ENTERTAINMENT; Kim Neil, MANAGER, STEWARDSHIP & EVENTS, TORONTO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA;

Mary Pallattella, CREATIVE DIRECTOR, LIVE EVENTS, CAPITAL C; Rita Plaskett, PRESIDENT, AGENDUM INC.; Karen Poppell, DIRECTOR, SALES & MARKETING, WINDSOR ARMS HOTEL; Jeff Roick, DIRECTOR, MCNABB ROICK-EVENT DESIGN & MANAGEMENT; Robert Rosset, DIRECTOR OF SALES & CATERING, LIBERTY ENTERTAINMENT GROUP; Don Saytar, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, CORNERSTONE ENTERTAINMENT CONCEPTS INC.; Stanton Singh, MARKETING MANAGER, SHERATON CENTRE TORONTO HOTEL; Robyn Small, COMMUNICATIONS, CONTEMPORARY FURNITURE RENTALS; Francine Socket, PRINCIPAL, FRANCINE SOCKET & ASSOCIATES, EVENT ARCHITECTS; Dana Zita, PRESIDENT, AND LOGISTIX INC.

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


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Readers’ Forum

What was the best idea you saw in 2010? “Throughout the Remarkable Indonesia gala’s seated dinner, the event touched on different aspects of Indonesian culture. The finale of the evening was when every guest was brought an angklung—an instrument made of bamboo tubes—that played a single note. A music director on stage directed us in a performance. As we were playing, we realized it was an Abba song! The angklung was also a gift to take home.” Barbara Blauhut, director of special events, WETA Public Television & Radio, Washington

“Showtime’s Nurse Jackie RX Games event concept. From the event title to the tournament activities to the idea of engaging and rewarding real nurses for the second-season launch, it was brilliant and certainly targeted to a deserving audience.”

PHOTOS: ELEVIN PHOTOGRAPHY (BRYAN RAFANELLI), COURTESY OF HARGROVE (RON BRACCO)

Jenny Powers, vice president of special events, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Southern New York Chapter

“I loved the Leukemia Ball’s use of handheld wireless devices. They were given to bidders, enabling them to track their bids as the evening progressed.” Ron Bracco, creative director, events, Hargrove Inc., Washington

“Dessert inside a balloon. Guests are given a pin to pop and eat.” Bryan Rafanelli, owner, Rafanelli Events, Boston

“PDA marketing. More than ever, the event industry has taken to the PDA airwaves to promote and update events, meetings, and trade shows. Within seconds, text message updates can get to attendees. You also gain a database to market next year’s event.” Dargan Watts, director, Birchmore Group Inc., Orlando

“Virtual events. I love the Virtualis Convention Center in Second Life. It is a virtual environment for trade shows, meetings, and even virtual banquets, dances, concerts, etc.” Patti Shock, professor and director of distance learning, Harrah College of Hotel Administration, University of Nevada

“Crashers making their way into the White House, because it brought security and eventprofessional responsibilities into the spotlight.” Alison Bossert, senior vice president, special events, Columbia Tristar Marketing Group, Los Angeles

“One of my favourites ideas is the cheesecake ‘ice cream’ cone, where there is a soft centre of whipped flavoured cheesecake inside a miniature sugar cone. It eliminates the intense labor of scooping out ice cream during an event, and you don’t have to worry about melting. Guests also love the surprise of biting into cheesecake instead of ice cream.” Pasquale Ingenito, executive chef, Windows Catering Company, Washington

“I’ve seen many events make use of the service staff to tie elements into the branding or theme. At Ubisoft’s launch event, [staffers wore] Revenge of the Nerds costumes with taped rimmed glasses, ‘Hello My Name Is NERD’ nametags, and bow ties. The servers have a lot of interaction with the guests and almost act as live, moving decor.” Alison Slight, managing director, Candice & Alison Luxury Event Management, Toronto

Compiled by Claire Hoffman

bizbash.com winter 2010–11 11


SURVEY SAYS We asked readers for their take on this moment in the event business. Here are some highlights.

How would you describe the current economic state of the event industry? It’s going to get worse before it gets better.

We’re fully recovered and back to normal.

3% 4%

20% 32%

We’re still in the thick of the downturn.

We’re through the worst of it, and we have settled into a new normal.

41% We’re just starting to recover.

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

Haggling more 10% 35%

55% Haggling about the same as a year ago

How would you describe your feelings about your long-term job prospects in the event industry? I’m terrified. I’m a little worried.

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I’m very optimistic.

2% 17%

27%

54% I’m cautiously optimistic.

Methodology: The survey was conducted online from September 13 to 23 via a link shared with BizBash email newsletter subscribers and Twitter followers. The data here represents responses from 1,023 people who identified themselves as event planners (who work in-house, on their own, or at firms) or owners or employees of venues or industry vendors.

ON BIZBASH.COM More survey results regarding budgets, holiday parties, and industry staffing levels


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The Scout

PHOTO: LIN AND JIRSA PHOTOGRAPHY

COOL CURTAINS To add a wintry look to end-of-the-year gatherings, Ice Bulb (877.423.2852, icebulb.com) offers decorative curtains made of frozen water. A machine cuts ice into gemlike cubes, which the company hand-strings onto cables suspended from trussing. Curtains can be made in any length and height. If used indoors, the pieces last about five hours; a container below collects drips. Ice Bulb is based in Southern California, but works nationwide and in Canada. While pricing depends on the size of each piece, strands typically cost $140 to $180 U.S. each, plus more for assembly and delivery. —Lisa Cericola

holiday party ideas

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New on the Menu

holiday party ideas

Seasons’ Eating By LISA CERICOLA

Basil-breaded smoked turkey “fingers” with honey orange marmalade and pomegranate seeds from Great Performances (212.727.2424, greatperfor mances.com) in New York

Tourtière strudel with mustard pickle from Jamie Kennedy Event Catering (416.362.1957, jamiekennedy.ca) in Toronto

Chocolate sorbet popsicles on a bed of crushed peppermints from Limelight Catering (773.883.3080, limelightcatering.com) in Chicago

Goat cheese lollipop truffles rolled in crushed pistachios, sun-dried tomatoes, and other toppings from Windows Catering Company (703.519.3500, catering. com) in Washington

16

Cranberry maple salmon with pink peppercorn sauce in toast cups from Good Gracious! Events (323.954.2277, goodgraciousevents.com) in Los Angeles

PHOTOS: GREG POWERS (NEW YORK, WASHINGTON), JOANNA DICKINS (TORONTO), TYLLIE BARBOSA (CHICAGO), JESSICA BOONE (LOS ANGELES)

Here are five passed bites for holiday gatherings of all types.


For Rent

holiday party ideas

SERVE IN STYLE Make end-of-year gatherings feel festive with these glasses and tasting vessels. By LISA CERICOLA

Toasting glasses, 85 cents U.S., available in Southern California from Town & Country Event Rentals (800.899.2620, townandcountryeventrentals.com)

Champagne Flutes Bella gold champagne flute, $1.95 U.S., available in New York from Something Different Party Rental (973.742.1779, something differentparty. com)

Ruby Braid glass, pricing varies, available nationwide from Classic Party Rentals (310.764.0373 ext. 316, classicparty rentals.com)

Paloma flute, pricing upon request, available in New York from Party Rental Ltd. (201.727.4700, partyrentalltd. com)

Spiegelau champagne coupe, $3 Cdn., available in Toronto from Chair-Man Mills (416.391.0400, chair manmills.com)

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

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF VENDORS

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

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

Small Plates Voss clear plate, pricing upon request, available in New York from Party Rental Ltd.

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

White oval tasting spoon, $1 U.S., available in New York from Something Different Party Rental

bizbash.com winter 2010–11 17


Fresh Faces

SISTER ACT The DeAngelis siblings direct and perform original aerial cirque routines designed for corporate functions and gala events. the passion we have as performers,” Elisa says. Having grown up in the entertainment industry— their parents run DeAngelis Entertainment Inc.—the sisters can see an event from a producer’s prospective. “If it weren’t for our parents’ company, I don’t think we would have the aptitude we have,” says Julie. “Our clients are dealing with the same person throughout the entire planning process and on the day of the event. If we are using another performer, one of us is always on site.” The program and choreography chosen for an event often depend on the venue. “What we do has to be conducive to the space. If there is no rigging or the ceilings are too low, we don’t do aerial. We have to go through the logistics first, and then the fun stuff comes into play,” says Elisa.

The sisters perform and design routines.

For safety reasons, A2D2 only uses its own equipment or specially commissioned pieces. “A unique feature of our company is our ability to provide cirque entertainment in spaces which do not have the capability to accommodate proper aerial rigging. Our one-of-a-kind apparatus, Cirque-u-l’air, and our newest apparatus, Circus-sphere, are just two examples of our innovation,” Julie says. The women have also made it a personal mission to give back to the community by hosting annual fund-

A New Source for On-Site Makeovers Inspire Cosmetics (inspirecosmetics.ca), a new makeup line developed by Ford model and makeup artist Wendy Crystal and business partner Tanya Andrade, can design workshops for corporate groups where attendees learn skin-care tips and tricks for applying makeup. Crystal can also provide makeup touch-ups at client and staff ACTI V ITY appreciation events. Attendees receive makeovers and a complimentary lip gloss. Rates start at $50 Cdn. per hour for a group of five; a minimum three-hour booking is required. For larger groups, fees are based on a rate of $20 Cdn. per person. —S.O.

18 bizbash.com winter 2010–11

Samantha, Elisa, and Julie DeAngelis raisers designed to raise awareness about spinal health. In 2009, A2D2 produced an event called “Cirquetacular and the Seven Deadly Sins” in support of the Canadian Spinal Research Organization. This past summer they produced another event called Cirque Tea Party, with all proceeds going to the Canadian Paraplegic Association. In September, Maverick Public Relations hired A2D2 to execute an impromptu performance including ground acrobatics and a flash mob at a client’s annual general meeting. They provided the entertainment as guests entered and exited meetings. “They were very detailed with the proposal we asked them to put together, and they gave us several options,” said consultant Candi Jeronimo. “They were very professional and on top of things, and they understood what we needed.” Says Elisa, “People are really excited by cirque. It’s really enchanting, especially with the makeup and the costumes.” —Susan O’Neill

FASHION-FORWARD FOOD Creative director Craig Gruzd and the team at Designing Trendz have joined forces with Domenic Chiaromonte (longtime executive chef at Match Restaurant) CATE R I NG to launch Catering Trendz (416.665.6794, cateringtrendz.com), a full-service catering company with a focus on fashionCatering Trendz’s forward contemporary hamburger Canadian cuisine. cupcakes Desserts include items like candy sushi made with Rice Krispies and cupcakes designed to look like mini hamburgers. —S.O.

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF A2D2 (PORTRAIT), CHRIS RICKER (AERIAL ROUTINE), BIZBASH (WRIGHT SPA), DOMINIC CHAN (CATERING TRENDZ)

From an early age, sisters Julie, Samantha, and Elisa DeAngelis had a flair for dance—and an interest in circus arts, thanks to a birthday party they attended as youngsters. “We were all competitive dancers as kids,” says Elisa. “When our neighbour had a circus party, we asked our parents if we could start taking circus lessons.” So they did. The three studied at the Etobicoke School of the Arts during their high school years. Upon graduation, Elisa moved to Montreal to enrol in École Nationale de Cirque (and worked with Cirque du Soleil). Both Julie and Samantha trained with various Canadian and American circus companies and became certified dance instructors under Dance Masters of America, an international organization of dance educators. In October 2008, the sisters launched an aerial-dance cirque company called A2D2 (416.255.4140, a2d2.ca), which stands for Aerial Artists and Dance Divas but is more commonly referred to as “A-squared D-squared.” In addition to performing, the sisters also design and produce routines for events. “The company [grew] from


Idea File

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

PROGRESSIVE STAGES Here’s a look at innovative designs from concerts, fashion shows, and other events. By LISA CERICOLA

For a June fund-raiser benefiting Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS, Chicago’s Kehoe Designs created a platform with a giant, illuminated wall that framed a video screen.

20 bizbash.com winter 2010–2011

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

For the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s annual awards in June, scenic designer Scott Pask made a backdrop shaped like Richard Serra’s sculpture “Torqued Ellipse IV.” Producers projected video onto a central cylinder and two wing walls.

PHOTOS: CHRISTOPHER POLK/GETTY IMAGES (MTV MOVIE AWARDS), COURTESY OF CORPORATE MAGIC (BOY SCOUTS), BILLY FARRELL/PATRICKMCMULLAN.COM (CFDA AWARDS), EMMANUEL DUNAND/GETTY IMAGES (MARC JACOBS), RANDY MICHAEL KORWIN/RMK PHOTO (DIFFA)

For this summer’s National Scout Jamboree in Virginia, celebrating the Boy Scouts of America’s 100th anniversary, CorporateMagic Inc. created a 395-foot-long stage with three massive LED screens and eight flaming cauldrons.


What are clever ways to integrate trade show sponsors? From making unexpected use of celebrity spokespeople to employing superhero statues, here are a few clever ways to increase sponsor visibility at trade shows. At America’s Beauty Show in Chicago, producers ensure that sponsors’ presence extends beyond the show floor. “We work with major exhibitors to offer an overall program to incorporate within their trade show strategy,” says Paul Dykstra, C.E.O. of Cosmetologists Chicago and America’s Beauty Show. Besides their booths, sponsoring manufacturers who exhibit are invited to brand key cards for hotels associated with the event. Sponsors can place products such as shampoos, conditioners, and face washes in attendees’ rooms at these properties. Sponsors are also invited to host press lounges that surround the show floor, where they can speak directly to beauty editors who come

to the show. Key exhibitors are also able to sponsor so-called V.I.P. “closing lounges,” or meeting rooms off the floor. In the rooms, companies can serve snacks or cocktails, show videos, and brand the space with decor of their choosing. Some companies have also opted to provide services, such as manicures or hairstyling, within the rooms. In August, the BlogHer conference drew about 2,500 bloggers to the Hilton New York, where the three-day event had a traditional trade show setup. “We really tried to find creative ways to integrate our sponsors, so they weren’t just a booth on the floor,” says San Francisco-based director of events Lori Luna. In addition to branding prominent signage, some BlogHer sponsors used celebrities to engage the crowd, both on and off the floor. Sara Lee called on Top Chef star Padma Lakshmi to judge a sandwich-

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

Ask BizBash

At the BlogHer conference, celebrities like Padma Lakshmi participated in events. making contest. Tropicana hosted a breakfast and enlisted spokesperson Bruce Jenner—former Olympic athlete and currently on Keeping Up With the Kardashians—to pour its newest flavours at a juice bar. “When they saw the reality TV stars, people went nuts, especially on Twitter,” says Luna. “We knew we’d get attention on blogs, but we also had 100,000 mentions on Twitter on the first day alone.” As director of strategic accounts at Reed Exhibitions, Lawrence Settembrini works with the sponsors of New York Comic Con, which takes place at the Jacob K. Javits Center. “It’s a fairly young show in a large building, and we initially had

concerns about fans finding their way through the [venue],” says Settembrini. “Our solution was to sell a sponsorship to a company that builds scale statues of superheroes.” Producers placed the statues at key locations throughout the building, and referred to them in directions. “For example, we provide instructions to our conference and panel areas as such: ‘Head to the Superman statue in the north concourse, then take the escalators down to the first floor,’” says Settembrini. “It’s a pretty simple concept that resulted in sponsorship revenue, helped our attendees navigate the building, and provided a photo opportunity.” —Jenny Berg

A New Way to Fill Seats CharityHappenings (charityhappenings.org), an online calendar of fund-raisers, now allows nonprofits to promote events and sell tickets. Planners create a customized ticketTIC K E TI NG ing Web page with details about the event, plus other information such as auction items or the organization’s mission. While the service itself is free, CharityHappenings charges 99 cents plus a 3 percent fee per attendee (up to $7.49) at the point of sale. For the time being, tickets can be purchased in American dollars, but the company says a Canadian version is coming soon. —Lisa Cericola

ON BIZBASH.COM More new products and services

A SPARKLING BAR New from rental company FWR Rental Haus (877.637.3744, fwrental.com), the paillette bar adds a shiny touch to events. The piece, which comes in aqua and silver, can be configured as a 12- by 10-foot four-sided rectangular R E NTA L bar, or a 12- or 8-foot single-sided bar. For an additional charge, the paillettes can be used to spell out the name of a company or event. The bar is available nationwide, and pricing starts at $750 U.S. —L.C.

bizbash.com winter 2010–2011 21


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

1.

2.

Ideal for events without bartenders, Vino Solo combines a 187-milliliter bottle of wine with a plastic drinking flute. It’s available through Philadelphia-based KDM Global Partners (215.509.7500, kdmglobalpartners.com). Custom labels can be made with a company’s logo.

The AppLounge at the 2010 London Design Festival featured a curated selection of ebooks, MP3s, and online services. The sleek pop-up is a stylish example of how to showcase digital products.

4.

5.

Available November 16, the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival Cookbook from Clarkson Potter commemorates 10 years of the festival with chef interviews, recipes, and other behind-the-scenes tidbits from director Lee Brian Schrager.

6.

Running from November 17 to May 15, 2011, at New York’s Museum of Arts and Design (212.299.7777, mad museum.org), the “Global Africa Project” is an extensive exhibit of contemporary African art, design, and craft, as well as an exploration of the socioeconomic impact of art-making in local communities.

The Lacoste Show

Central Florida-based paper goods company Rifle Paper Co. has a charming blog (riflemade.squarespace. com) where owner Anna Bond shares her latest projects and design obsessions, from vintage book covers to retro interiors.

7.

The long-gestating Broadway show SpiderMan: Turn Off the Dark (spidermanonbroadway. marvel.com), directed by Julie Taymor—known for her groundbreaking spectacles—with music by Bono and the Edge from U2, debuts November 14 at Foxwoods Theatre in New York.

10. Three feeds worth following on Twitter:

9.

8. For the Hotel Plaza Athénée Paris’s (plazaathenee-paris.com) new winter menu, head pastry chef Christophe Michalak created “Chestnut,” a rum baba with vanilla chantilly cream, spiky points of meringue, and chestnut Bavarian cream.

22 bizbash.com winter 2010–11

Whether in shades of tangerine, pumpkin, or—as Pantone calls it—“coral rose,” orange was one of the hottest colour trends during the spring 2011 shows at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

The Design Observer Group (@designobserver) delivers newsy updates on worldwide “design, culture, change.” For cultural, political, and just plain inspirational tweets, Yoko Ono (@yokoono) fits the bill. Zappos C.E.O. Tony Hsieh (@zappos) mixes thoughts on marketing and business with daily (often funny) musings.

11. On My Radar “The chic fashion line Leroy and Perry (leroyand perry.com) has delighted me in spades with its inventive reuse of soda cans this fall. The fine sprays of sequins that give a little sparkle to a new line of shift dresses are, in fact, fashioned from recycled pop cans. Super cool, right?” David Stark, president and creative director, David Stark Design and Production, New York

PHOTOS: METHOD (1), KDM GLOBAL PARTNERS (2), DEFINITION BRANDING & MARKETING (3), COURTESY OF THE FOOD NETWORK SOUTH BEACH WINE AND FOOD FESTIVAL (4), MUSEUM OF ART AND DESIGN (5), COURTESY OF SPIDERMAN TURN OFF THE DARK (7), COURTESY OF DORCHESTER COLLECTION (8), COURTESY OF MERCEDES BENZ FASHION WEEK (9), COURTESY OF DAVID STARK (11)

3.

Ideal for meetings and presentations, the Edifier Soundbar USB ($49.99 U.S., available at store. apple.com in December) is a 10-inch speaker that connects to a laptop through a USB port and emits stereo-quality sound.


Following a $30 million renovation and restoration project, the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts reopened on October 1—50 years to the date from the building’s first opening night. The venue has a refurbished 3,000-seat proscenium theatre and several multifunction spaces for events and corporate meetings, including a reconfigured lobby and a new balcony bar. Five private lounges can each accommodate groups of as many as 24 for meetings, and the lower lobby lounge and main lobby can each hold as many as 250. (1 Front St. East, 416.393.7466)

Venues

By SUSAN O’NEILL

Downtown Deals Next to Maple Leaf Gardens, the Holiday Inn Toronto Downtown Centre is set to open in February following an $18 million renovation. The property, which formerly operated as the Days Inn Carlton, has 514 rooms and more than 9,000 square feet of meeting space spread over nine function rooms, the largest of which holds as many as 130. Meeting spaces, including three dedicated boardrooms, are equipped with ergonomic seating, audiovisual equipment, and Wi-Fi. The hotel also has a spa, a coffee shop, and two options for dining: the Carlton Restaurant, which serves bistro-style cuisine, and Thirty Bar & Lounge. (30 Carlton St., 416.977.6655)

Relaxing Retreats Nestled in a secluded setting on Bayview Avenue, the newly renovated Estates of Sunnybrook offer a choice of meeting and breakout rooms in three separate buildings—the coach house, McLean House, and Vaughan Estate. The property has a total of 17 meeting rooms and can accommodate groups of as small as six or as many as 150. Meeting spaces have natural lighting and are furnished in a residential style. Some rooms have private patios. Audiovisual equipment is available, and wireless Internet access is complimentary. Free parking is available on site. Venue partner Summit Training & Development also offers a range of teambuilding programs on the grounds. (2075 Bayview Ave., 416.487.3841)

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF SONY CENTRE, COURTESY OF HOLIDAY INN TORONTO DOWNTOWN CENTRE, COURTESY OF ESTATES OF SUNNYBROOK, COURTESY OF HOTEL LE GERMAIN MAPLE LEAF SQUARE, COURTESY OF HILTON TORONTO AIRPORT HOTEL & SUITES

Pre-Show Meetings


Pre-Game Workshops Hôtel Le Germain Maple Leaf Square, Groupe Germain’s second Toronto property, opened in November just steps from the Air Canada Centre. The 167-room hotel has 4,600 square feet of sports-themed meeting and event space that can accommodate groups of 15 to 125. The Defensive and Offensive Zones hold as many as 60 and are equipped with retractable screens and projectors. The Neutral Zone, which holds 15, has an LCD TV; the Penalty Box, suitable for groups of as many as 40, offers views overlooking the main entrance to the ACC; and the 1,020-square-foot Hall of Fame holds as many as 125 and has portable acoustic panels. Suites and apartments, which hold as many as 20, are also available. (75 Bremner Blvd., 416.649.7575)

Contemporary Conferences Hilton Toronto Airport Hotel & Suites, located near Pearson International Airport, unveiled the property’s newly renovated meeting rooms—19 in all—in August, marking the third and final phase of a two-year, $15-million renovation program. Toronto-based interior design firm Cecconi Simone created the concept for the ultra-modern redesign, which included updates to the hotel’s 268 guest rooms, 151 guest suites, hotel lobby, lobby lounge, Bliss Restaurant and Lounge, corridors, event space, and fitness centre. The hotel offers 23,000 square feet of meeting and event space, including a 10,000-square-foot pillarless ballroom with 18-foot ceilings. Function rooms can accommodate groups from 30 to 900. (5875 Airport Road, Mississauga, 905.677.9900)

ON BIZBASH.COM Our comprehensive venue directory

While you may see it as one of Toronto’s top attractions, you may not know that the CN Tower is also one of the city’s most unique corporate venues. With state-of-the-art meeting rooms, inspired hospitality services and unsurpassed views, it’s easy to see why. If you haven’t considered the CN Tower for your next event, it’s time to take a closer look.

See all that you’ve been missing at cntower.ca/lookcloser or call 416-601-4718.


THIS IS AN AD FOR POP. WE DIDN’T INTEND TO INSULT YOUR INTELLIGENCE.

YOU PROBABLY MANAGED TO FIGURE OUT THAT THIS INDEED IS AN AD, AND THAT IT’S ALSO AN AD FOR SOMETHING CALLED POP. WHAT YOU PROBABLY WEREN’T ABLE TO SURMISE WAS, WHAT POP IS. HERE’S A HINT; IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH CARBONATED BEVERAGES OR KATY PERRY. IT DOES HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH KEN KRISTOFFERSEN, CSEP, INTERNATIONAL, AWARD-WINNING, EVENT PROFESSIONAL. AND YES, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN THERE IT IS, THE WORD THAT SHOULD PUT IT ALL TOGETHER FOR YOU – EVENT. POP IS AN EVENT COMPANY, BUT AN EVENT COMPANY THAT’LL MAKE YOUR CORPORATE EVENT FEEL ABSOLUTELY NOTHING LIKE A CORPORATE EVENT, UNLESS THAT’S WHAT YOU’RE GOING FOR, IN WHICH CASE YOUR CORPORATE EVENT CAN FEEL VERY CORPORATE. ALTHOUGH WE DON’T RECOMMEND IT.

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PHOTOS: EMMA MCINTYRE FOR BIZBASH

EVENT REPORTS

Art After Dark At the fifth annual Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, Philip Beesley hung layers of cables with microprocessordriven lights in the atrium at the Royal Conservatory of Music for an installation called “Aurora.” More about the event is on page 36.

27


Opening Night Gala Inspired by the opening night film, Score: A Hockey Musical, event producer Barbara Hershenhorn of Party Barbara Co. worked with McWood Studios and National Sign to design a dance floor that replicated an ice rink for the 3,000-guest opening night gala at the Liberty Grand.

The ice table, designed by Iceculture, took 80 hours to create and 20 man hours to set up on site in the Governor’s Room at the Liberty Grand.

Party Circuit By SUSAN O’NEILL

Up-and-coming Canadian designer Breeyn McCarney used florals to pay tribute to festival sponsor PerrierJouët by creating a living dress inspired by the brand’s Belle Epoque bottle.

Absolut Vodka created a pop-up party—dubbed Absolut St. Art—on the rooftop of a downtown parking garage. The event transformed the space into a large-scale art exhibit and concert hall.

Absolut Party

As many as 600 people attended the event, planned by VisionCo. and inspired by the slogan “In an Absolut World Doing Things Differently Leads to Something Exceptional.” One installation included a display of Absolut bottles bearing the phrase “I wouldn’t make this up.”

28 bizbash.com winter 2010–11

An installation from visual artist Beside Herself included a series of stacked boxes with the phrase “Make it one last time forever.”

PHOTOS: GARY BEECHEY FOR BIZBASH (OPENING NIGHT GALA), BIZBASH (ABSOLUT)

In addition to showcasing more than 300 films, the 35th Toronto International Film Festival—which ran from September 9 to 19—featured a host of official (and unofficial) parties hosted by magazines like In Style and Hello! Canada, charitable organizations like Amfar, and brands like Absolut Vodka.

TORONTO


Hello! Canada Party Hello! Canada moved its annual TIFF party, held at the Birks store on Bloor Street for the past two years, to the Royal Conservatory of Music. The event adopted a “Hello! Hollywood” theme this year, with red and black decor—a nod to the magazine’s branding.

Amfar Party

The Carlu played host to the second annual Cinema Against AIDS Toronto event, held in support of Amfar and Dignitas International. The event drew a sold-out crowd, with more than 500 guests attending, up from 380 in 2009.

Ace of Base and the Thompson Egbo-Egbo Trio performed at the event. The gala, co-chaired by Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez, raised more than $1 million for Amfar and Dignitas International.

In Style Party

In Style and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association hosted their 11th annual TIFF party at the Windsor Arms Hotel on September 14.

PHOTOS: GEORGE PIMENTEL (AMFAR, IN STYLE), BIZBASH (HELLO! CANADA)

Organizers used Douglas fir trees and manzanita branches to dress the Courtyard Café.

A collage of images of Hollywood stars like Audrey Hepburn, Julia Roberts, and Shirley MacLaine topped cocktail tables throughout the party.

bizbash.com winter 2010–11 29


Fashion Frenzy For Fashion Television’s 25th anniversary, images of models and retro fashions filled the CTV headquarters. To celebrate 25 years of Fashion Television and launch a commemorative magazine chronicling defining moments of the series created by Jay Levine and hosted by Jeanne Beker, CTV invited 900 guests to a cocktail party at the network’s downtown headquarters at Queen and John Streets on September 7. Mafalda Caruso, CTV’s executive director of special events, planned the anniversary bash, held in a space that’s normally used as an office. “Anybody that’s had anything to do with Fashion Television in the past 25 years was invited,” said Caruso, who called on Rob Dittmer of Three Event Planning & Design to turn the office into a party space and showcase black-and-white images of supermodels like Linda Evangelista and Guests entered the second floor event space through a Christy Turlington—all pulled from the pages hallway that included an installation resembling the set of the magazine’s commemorative issue. Unit 11 of a fashion shoot. Custom Staging created a black runway (bearing the FT logo) for a fashion presentation of vintage looks from the past 25 years, selected by stylist Cherie Federau of Shrimpton Couture. After walking a black carpet on Queen Street, guests entered the second floor through a hallway with a photo tribute to designers like John Galliano and Karl Lagerfeld. Black-and-white images of the designers, printed on sheer fabric panels, accented a wall of white draping in the hallway, which also included an all-white studio set designed to look like a backdrop used in a fashion shoot. Inside the main space, servers from Core A poster-size image of Canadian supermodel Coco Event Staff passed hors d’oeuvres from Daniel et Rocha hung at the entrance to the main party space. Daniel Event Creation and Catering. A food station included herbed gnocchi in a tomato basil sauce and duck confit cupcakes topped with Around 900 guests filled CTV’s roasted beet mash icing and maple-bourbon Queen Street West headquarters demi-glace. Cocktails included the FT25 Royale, for the anniversary party. made with Mumm Napa Brut Prestige. Caruso used black-and-white Fashion Television’s furnishings from Furnishings 25th Anniversary Party by Corey to create seating areas for guests, and hung an oversize Audiovisual Production Westbury National Show makeup mirror—complete with Systems a red lip imprint from Canadian Catering Daniel et Daniel supermodel Coco Rocha—behind Event Creation & Catering the main bar. DJ Amalia Leandro Decor Three Event Planning & Design Inc. spun tunes in a round booth posiFlowers Earthwork tioned at the top of the runway. Furniture Rentals Rocha, pictured on the cover Furnishings by Corey of the commemorative issue, was Models Elmer Olsen Printing National Sign & on the guest list but a scheduling Design Group Inc. conflict in New York prevented the Rentals Exclusive Affair supermodel from attending. An Rentals Inc. image of Rocha’s cover hung near Security Primary Response Inc. the entrance to the main party Staffing Core Event Staff space, and guests received copies Staging Unit 11 Custom of the magazine in the gift bags. Staging Ltd. —Susan O’Neill

Cherie Federau of Shrimpton Couture styled models for a runway presentation that showcased fashions from the past 25 years.

A curved DJ booth sat at the head of a black-andwhite runway designed to look like the FT logo.

30 bizbash.com july/august 2010

PHOTOS: GEORGE PIMENTEL (MODELS, INSTALLATION, CROWD SHOT), BIZBASH (RUNWAY, POSTER)

TORONTO


PHOTOS: KEITH SIRCHIO FOR BIZBASH

Circus Act

come and see the armory,” explained Rebecca Robertson, president of the Park Avenue Armory. To design the exhibition and The Park Avenue Armory’s first gala the opening night gala, Robertbrought a 50-foot Ferris wheel indoors. son tapped event design company Hickey Shields, which had the task of not only creating a cohesive look For years, the Park Avenue Armory NEW YORK has been the site of large art exhi- for the 55,000-square-foot hall, but bitions and fairs, galas and launch events, and even also arranging the components to Fashion Week shows, but this December the Upper allow for a 532-guest dinner at the preview event the night before. East Side landmark will be home to the first full “Just working on that scale in season of artistic programming from the nonprofit For the dinner, tables replaced that took over the venue from the state in 2006. As general is challenging, and we grew rides at the foot of the to call it the ‘drill hall effect.’ The a prelude to this, the cultural organization (which 50-foot-tall Ferris wheel. [Wade Thompson is also called the Park Avenue Armory) Drill Hall] has a very, very strange, held its first gala on October 7, and Park Avenue Armory’s almost illogical effect on scale, collected $1.2 million to support the re“Carnival” Exhibition where certain things look fine vitalization of the 130-year-old building Opening Night Gala and other things look very, very as a space for the arts. Art Direction, Design, small,” said Josh Hickey, co-owner A four-day exhibition followed the Fabrication Hickey Shields Carnival Games Ace Tent & of Hickey Shields. The gala gave gala, paying homage to the original Amusements guests a chance to partake in 1879 fair held at the armory’s Wade Catering Great the rides and games before the Thompson Drill Hall (held to raise Performances dinner, while stiltwalkers, confunds for the interior design of the Draping Drape Kings Event Management tortionists, magicians, and other venue). Dubbed “Carnival,” the event MF Productions circus acts from the Bindlestiff included a 50-foot-tall Ferris wheel, PR Resnicow Schroeder Family Cirkus roamed the floor. vintage midway rides and games, and Associates —Anna Sekula performers from the Bindlestiff Family Rentals Party Rental Ltd. The gala’s guests Technical Direction Cirkus. “We’re all about doing fantastic had no qualms Raise Plow things in this space, so doing a carnival Tenting Starr Tents about winning ON BIZBASH.COM in here seemed like a really great idea Venue Park Avenue Armory toys at the water A video report from the gala and a way to invite New Yorkers to pistol range.


Caravents produced the September 16 soiree on the Santa Monica Pier, with carnival lights, supper club-style lounges, and gaming tables.

Triple Play HBO staged three premieres for its new drama Boardwalk Empire: On the West Coast, the gathering for 350 was designed as a national sales incentive for HBO’s internal digital network distribution team. The New York fete entertained an industry crowd of 1,000, while the Atlantic City affair was a consumer-targeted promotion for 500.

COAST TO COAST

Guests tried their luck at casino games for a buyin of $500 in play money.

By ALESANDRA DUBIN & ANNA SEKULA Carnival-style entertainers greeted guests at the entrance.

Los Angeles

The Peterson Automotive Museum supplied vintage vehicles from the 1920’s.

PHOTOS: LINE 8 PHOTOGRAPHY

Signage evoked Prohibition-era posters.

32 bizbash.com winter 2010–11


A large sign of the show’s name marked the entrance to the New York premiere party, which was produced by Invision Events at Rockefeller Center on September 15.

New York

PHOTOS: KEITH SIRCHIO FOR BIZBASH (NEW YORK), COURTESY OF BILL BANKS (ATLANTIC CITY)

The 40-foot-long bar was resurfaced with vintage posters from 1920s Atlantic City.

The study at One Atlantic was turned into a gambling den with a live cigar roller.

Atlantic City

The 1,000person bash was spread across Rink Bar, Sea Grill, and Rock Center Café.

As a playful nod to Boardwalk Empire’s central character, Nucky Thompson, a cigarette girl handed out red carnation boutonnieres to arriving guests.

To reference the seaside town, the buffet included lobster tail, steamed mussels, and king crab legs.

HBO’s marketing team worked with Civic Entertainment Group and venue One Atlantic to produce the 500-person bash on September 16. Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks Orchestra performed for the crowd.

ON BIZBASH.COM More photos and ideas from these events

bizbash.com winter 2010–11 33


A giant Twister board, with coloured disco balls as the game markings, sat in front of the stage.

Pink disco ball signs bearing the phrase “On the Rocks” directed guests to the bar.

Grange said of the activations. Guests could dress up in Guess by Marciano clothing for a photo shoot, sample various coffee beverages at a Tassimo station, or try a glass of Yellow Tail Bubbles Rosé at the Bubble Bar (where a model posed in a The Boobyball adopted a disco yellow bathtub filled with clear balloons). theme with Studio 54 images When it came to choosing a venue, Grange and Warhol-inspired art. said the decision came down to capacity. “We had 1,200 guests. Trying to find a space in Toronto In a nod to Andy Warhol and Studio that holds that many people was a challenge,” TORONTO 54, organizers of the ninth annual she said. The event has been held in raw spaces Boobyball fund-raiser for Rethink Breast Cancer— (with no existing amenities like built-in bars) in dubbed “Boobyball 9: Flash”—showcased iconic the past, and the fact that the Kool Haus is an esimages from the ’70s alongside displays of Brillo tablished venue was appealing, Grange said. “We boxes and stacks of Campbell’s Soup tins at the liked the idea that the space is completely open Kool Haus on October 16. “Every year we try to and you can do a lot with it,” Kerr said. come up with a great theme that is a lot of fun 10tation Event Catering set up two food and super creative,” said Ainsley Kerr, Rethink’s stations, where guests could try mini sirloin burgevent specialist. “This year we went ers served with root chips and Boobyball 9: Flash with the idea of Studio 54 and the noodles stir fried with bok choy, Audiovisual Production artistic influence. We had five great peppers, mushrooms, bean Magen Boys photographers in the city recreate sprouts, snow peas, and fresh Entertainment iconic Studio 54 images [for the event Catering 10tation Event ginger. decor] and our auction.” In an effort to attract a young Catering Kerr and Rethink’s event manager, Computer Terminals Endo crowd, organizers priced tickets Networks Inc. Lindsay Grange, worked with event at $80, with a limited number Decor Ferreira Design co-chairs Aliya-Jasmine Sovani (of available for $40 (aimed at guests Design, Invitations, MTV), Natasha Penzo (of ASC PR), between the ages of 19 to 25). Signage, Web Site Design Diablito Design Group and Jacquelyn West (of Hermann & “We wanted to gear it toward DJ DJ Vaneska Audrey) to plan the event. The team everyone. We wanted our ticket Furniture Rentals called on Jennifer Ferreira of Ferreira price to be accessible,” Kerr said, Contemporary Furniture Design to handle the decor. noting that the event sold out in Rentals Inc. Lighting, Security INK A V.I.P. lounge, filled with black just over one week. Proceeds from Linens Chair-man Mills and gold furnishings from Contemthe benefit supported Rethink’s Printing, Signage Icon porary Furniture Rentals, sat in the Booby Innovation Grant (designed Digital Productions Inc. middle of the room, and a series to assist young women diagnosed Staffing The Butler Did It Venue Guvernment & of activations from sponsors like with the disease), as well as the Kool Haus Entertainment Mavea and Guess by Marciano lined organization’s existing programComplex the walls. “It keeps the party going,” ming. —Susan O’Neill

Endo Networks set up computer terminals in the lobby, where guests obtained passes for a gift bag at the end of the evening. In a nod to Andy Warhol, stacks of faux boxes of Brillo soap pads flanked the stage.

M.J. DeCoteau, executive director of Rethink Breast Cancer, addressed the crowd during the V.I.P. reception. Guests could fill bags with candies like chocolate pearls, toffee bonbons, coconut mushrooms, and wine gums.

34 bizbash.com july/august 2010

PHOTOS: EMMA MCINTYRE FOR BIZBASH

Groove Thing


A giant slide served as the party’s entryway.

Oh, Chute! Guests entered the Discovery kids network launch on a giant slide.

Discovery Communications and Hasbro launched a new children’s network, known as the Hub, with a party on October 10 that showcased the playfulness and fun the channel promises to bring with its A Transformers replica programming. The interactive offerings began with served as towering decor. an entrance to the party space by way of a giant slide. Discovery Communications vice president of global events Jeff Kaplan oversaw the event from Activities and entertainment included a A ball pit made the company’s headquarters in Maryland, where Transformers photo opportunity, an interactive for a colorful, a team of about 10 serves as an in-house event strawberry shortcake bar from caterer Global Cuiinteractive agency for the group of networks. Connecticutsine by Gary Arabia, a ball pit, a caricature station, spectacle. based Blue Flame worked with Discovery Global and a custom button-making station. Some of the Events on the execution. games from the Family Game Night programThe Hub’s partners and execuming appeared at the party on a tives, plus celebrities and other invited Discovery giant scale, including a huge ConCommunications and guests of all ages—about 550 people nect 4 board and a version of OperHasbro’s Hub Launch in all—showed up at the Lot. “We did ation that allowed guests to move PHOTOS: COURTESY OF THE HUB

LOS ANGELES

it at the Lot because we wanted for guests to really experience what the Hub was,” said Kaplan, whose group worked with the local, Burbank-based Hub marketing and communications department. “That was the genesis of the slide. As you arrived, you were invited to find your inner kid.”

Catering Global Cuisine by Gary Arabia Design, Fabrication Blue Flame Events Furniture Rentals Lounge22 Powered by Cort Lighting Delicate Productions Inc. Venue The Lot

game pieces with giant tongs. A Hub passport allowed guests to collect stickers at various stations and redeem them for a prize. Large HD video projections showed a sizzle reel looping network footage on the inside and outside walls. —Alesandra Dubin


British artist Ryan Gander set up a wood burning campfire at Yonge-Dundas Square for an exhibit called “Just Because You Can Feel It Doesn’t Mean It’s There.”

At the “Way-Station (North Migration)” performance art exhibit, which highlighted the effects of climate change, participants visited an impromptu shrine honouring members of a nomadic tribe.

Night Lights Nuit Blanche marked its fifth anniversary, as Scotiabank announced multiyear funding for the all-night party. Thousands of Torontonians took to the streets on October 2 for the fifth annual Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, an allnight celebration of contemporary art presented by the City of Toronto, which has announced a further four-year funding commitment from lead sponsor Scotiabank. “Toronto is never so alive as it is during Scotiabank Nuit Blanche. The event has transformed Toronto—in the way we engage with contemporary art, with each other, and with our city,” said Rita Davies, the city’s executive director of culture. “With four more years to look forward to, I can only imagine the continued magic that will unfold.” The fifth edition of the free event featured more than 130 commissioned and independent exhibitions created by nearly 500 artists and displayed in three zones across the city, including a massive multimedia installation designed by musician Daniel Lanois. Dubbed “Later That Night at the Drive-In,” Lanois’s installation filled Nathan Phillips Square with live music and original scored video projections. Other highlights included Philip Beesley’s “Aurora,” a light installation in the atrium at the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Telus Centre for Performance and Learning, and “Dune,” an interactive new media installation designed by Rotterdam-based artist Daan Roosegaarde and set up in the Lower Bay Station. Participants could take advantage of two interactive tools, including the Night Navigator iPhone/Blackberry app and My Night itinerary (both of which debuted last year), to plan their evening. Organizers also launched Share Your Night, a new platform for streaming comments, texts, tweets, and photos shared by eventgoers on screens at Scotiabank information centres throughout the night. —Susan O’Neill

TORONTO

Kim Adams of Toronto lit up a rotating 1996 Dodge Ram van for an installation called “Auto Lamp.” Daan Roosegaarde’s “Dune” transformed the Lower Bay Station with an interactive new media exhibit meant to investigate nature in relation to urban space.

Sensors within the “Aurora” installation tracked viewers walking through the atrium at the Royal Conservancy and created a rippling pattern reflected in the lighting.

36 bizbash.com july/august 2010


PHOTOS: COURTESY OF WASHINGTON TALENT, PHOTO AND VIDEO

Patriot Act

With temperatures reaching into the 90s and a tense political Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor Rally atmosphere due to drew more than 300,000 to the Beck’s and guest speaker Sarah PaLincoln Memorial. lin’s political views, health and security Glenn Beck may wear his WASHINGTON politics on his sleeve during his were the biggest primetime talk show and his many other appear- concerns for planners. Although ances, but on August 28 he put politics aside for his Restoring Honor rally at the Lincoln Memorial. security concerns Purportedly designed to honour our armed forces never became a factor and the and celebrate American values, the event drew The stage was set at the base of the Lincoln Memorial, which provided more than 300,000 people from across the coun- speakers stayed a picturesque background for the more than 300,000 attendees. try. During its peak, the crowd stretched from the true to their nosteps of the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington politics mandate, the nine medical stations saw Monument, filling the area around the Reflecting plenty of action from heat-related issues. In an attempt to control any widespread heat issues, the Pool as well as adjacent fields. producers handed out more than 75,000 bottles To help oversee and plan the rally, Beck and his team tapped CSI—Capitol Services’ senior op- of water and set up nine cooling stations to keep erations manager Kelley Gillespie. A veteran plan- the crowd cool and hydrated. Another challenge was finding ner with several large-scale events on a way to keep the massive crowd the Mall under her belt, the Restoring Restoring Honor Rally organized. Working with the NaHonor rally marked the largest event Catering Design Cuisine Caterers tional Park Service and Park Police, she has produced. Gillespie and her Event Management organizers divided the area into team of 30 planners worked for nearCSI—Capitol Services Inc. eight safety zones. The space in ly a year to plan the four-hour rally, Production National Events between the zones allowed for limL.L.C. which required more than 40 pages Rentals DC Rental ited mobility and secured space for of permits, a production crew of 150, Tenting Capital Party Glenn Beck offered the each of the nine LED walls provided a six-day setup, and the assistance of Rentals opening and closing remarks. by Video Walltronics. —T.J. Walter 11 police and government agencies.


Eight models participated in the fashion show.

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

Decor in the Clubway included yellow, green, and orange glow spheres atop fabric-skirted platforms. The colour scheme nodded to the hues of the Subway logo.

Right On Band performed ’70s hits in the Clubway.

38 bizbash.com july/august 2010

producers called in the cheerleaders, break dancers, ballerinas, and—oh, yes—human pinwheels and butterflies on roller blades. Throughout the evening, activities and entertainment took place in all three pavilions. In the The sandwich company’s postClubway, fake paparazzi snapped photos of guests conference gala featured models, break and the ballerina and the break dancer went dancers, and rollerskating butterflies. head-to-head in a staged dance-off. Runway fashion shows, called “Project “Eat Fresh” is Subway’s well-known Subway,” showcased models in garb made out CHICAGO tagline. So when the sandwich com- of the company’s packaging materials. An M.C. pany hosted a gala on the last night of its annual provided tongue-in-cheek commentary. “This next convention in July, planners went for creation,” he said, “uses all recycled Subway’s “Celebrate a “fresh buzz” vibe. Joel Whitten, the material and is inspired by the Subway” Convention Connecticut-based meetings and foot-long chicken breast sandwich, event manager at Subway FranAudiovisual Production, on wheat, with extra Southwest Lighting, Sound InVNT chise World Headquarters, tapped sauce. Very spicy.” Catering Chicago destination management company In the Parkway, mimes, jugRestaurant Partners In the Loop-Chicago to produce the glers, and a rollerskating butterfly Decor Ivan Carlson & happening, which drew some 3,500 Associates circulated while a cellist played DJ DJ Dave Alvarez guests to the Skyline Ballroom at classical music and three chalk Entertainment Chicago McCormick Place. artists drew colourful patterns on a Boyz Acrobatic Team, How does one bring a fresh, fake sidewalk. Meanwhile, outside Collaboraction, Custom energizing atmosphere to a convenComedy Capers, Right On the Subway Stadium, cheerleaders Band tion center ballroom? In the Loop chanted “Go subs, go.” Inside the Event Management In the built three thematic pavilions—the sporty space, which was stocked Loop-Chicago Clubway, the Parkway, and Subway with foosball tables and arcade Game Rentals Amusement Stadium—to evoke, respectively, an Masters games, acrobats and double-dutch Photography Kardas energetic dance party, a whimsical jump ropers performed. Photography park, and a sports stadium. Then, —Jenny Berg

Subway Series

PHOTOS: KARDAS PHOTOGRAPHY

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


and white), the lighting, and the gift bags, which included items like a laser-pointer pen, an illuminated mouse, a book light, and a self-charging flashlight. “We felt Sun Life launched its new mutual it was a natural fit for the launch fund company with freworks and party,” Campbell said of the simultaneous events in five cities. theme. “Visually it speaks, and it’s got great legs.” In a nod to the corporate taglines Attendees in each city inTORONTO for Sun Life Financial’s new mutual cluded financial advisors, plan fund company—phrases like “Illuconsultants, senior minating Your Path” and “Illuminat- Sun Life Global employees, media, Investments Launch ing a Brighter Future”—the firm and market analysts. More than 300 guests, including senior Audiovisual Production, lit up the sky over five Canadian “The idea was to employees, market analysts, and financial Lighting, Production, cities on October 13 with fireworks entertain guests and advisors, attended the Toronto launch. Staging Granite Point displays (one of which took place on punctuate it with Productions Inc. the roof of the Kool Haus) designed Catering Kindred Spirits corporate messaging,” Campbell Catering & Event to mark the launch of the new said of the event, which was hosted Coordination brand, Sun Life Global Investments. by veteran sports broadcaster Decor, Draping, Flowers, Liz Campbell, Sun Life’s director Dick Irvin. Entertainment included Lighting, Linens Heartz of marketing, called on Real Comperformances by singer Matt Dusk, Event Creation Design, Event munications Inc. to plan simultawho took the stage at the Kool Management, Invitations, neous launch events in Halifax, Haus; Pascale Lavoie (in Montreal); Production, Signage Real Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, and and Jay Sparrow (in Calgary). Communications Inc. Vancouver. The events drew a total “We had five satellite broadcast Entertainment Matt Dusk Furniture Rentals of 750 guests and culminated in trucks, 4,000 separate explosions, Contemporary Furniture a one-hour simulcast showcasing 35 pyrotechnic experts, and 47 techRentals Inc. musical performances and live foot- Printing Envelope Express, nicians on the ground. We also had age of the fireworks from Halifax, three teleconference bridges going Resource Integrated Ltd. Staffing Exposure TNT Montreal, and Toronto. on, so all of our event staff could In addition to the pyrotechnics, Venue Guvernment & speak to one another,” said CampKool Haus Entertainment organizers reflected the illuminabell. “It was a massive undertaking.” Complex tion theme in the decor (yellow —Susan O’Neill

PHOTOS: BIZBASH

Light Show

Tall vases filled with lemons and calla lilies topped bars and food stations.


Size Matters The DX Gala honoured Bruce Mau’s “Big Thinking” with massive ice crystals and oversize balloons. For the Design Exchange’s seventh annual Black & White gala, held October 23 at the Bay Street venue, organizers paid tribute to this year’s honouree—Bruce Mau, chairman and founder of Bruce Mau Design— with an evening inspired by his career, including works like his “Massive Change” exhibit and his “Incomplete Manifesto for Growth.” “The whole theme was ‘big,’ based on Bruce Mau and his success as a big thinker in the world,” said Gillian Hoff, vice president of special events at the Design Exchange. “Everything was oversize, from the ice crystals [above the bar on the trading floor] to the giant vases [in the reception space], to the catering and Daniel et Daniel’s giant scallop shells.” To set the stage for the V.I.P. dinner, which drew 220 guests and took place in the venue’s exhibit hall, Hoff created decor elements that played off the theme of experimentation. “I was inspired by a line from his Web site that says Mau continues to pursue life’s big question, ‘Now that we can do anything, what will we do?’” said Hoff. Hoff displayed large vinyl cutouts of words from Mau’s “Incomplete Manifesto” on the walls and worked with students from the event design and management program at Seneca College to create four-foot square frames to hang candles and flowers above the dining tables. An additional 800 guests attended the main party, held on the venue’s main level and trading floor. For the reception area, Hoff created a Moroccan lounge with metal cocktail tables from Furnishings by Corey, Moroccan-style cushions, belly dancers, and live snakes. “The idea was to use diverse cultural ideas and face your fears by using snake charmThe Design Exchange’s ers,” Hoff said. Black & White Gala In addition to a Audiovisual Production, massive ice chanLighting, Sound, Staging delier, Iceculture CCR Solutions installed four ice Catering Daniel et Daniel crystals, supported Event Creation & Catering, Eatertainment Special by wood frames Events & Catering, En built into the white Ville Event Design and Plexiglas bar, to top Catering, Marigolds & each corner of the Onions, Presidential Gourmet Fine Catering, bar. CCR Solutions 10tation Event Catering lit each of the sculpEntertainment DLM Dance tures from above & Entertainment with yellow and Flowers Forget Me Not Flowers purple beams to creFurniture Rentals ate a prism effect. Furnishings by Corey Event sponsors Ice Sculpture Iceculture Inc. included TD Bank Live Animals Reptilia Props Balloon Trix Financial Group, Rentals Exclusive Affair Toronto Life, and Rentals Inc. NUVO. Venue Design Exchange —Susan O’Neill

More than 800 guests filled the trading floor.

Performers posed on platforms adorned with the word “spectacle” (inspired by Mau’s book S, M, L, XL) in the gift bag room.

Dancers performed during a set by fusion jazz band the Kandinsky Effect.

Iceculture designed a sevenpiece chandelier for the centre of the main bar.

Organizers projected the faces of big thinkers on to the surface of 14 oversize white balloons hung on either side of the trading floor.

40 bizbash.com winter 2010–11

PHOTOS: CHANDELIER(BIZBASH) GEORGE PIMENTEL (ALL OTHERS)

TORONTO


Equinox Fitness Club conducted morning yoga sessions on the beach behind the hotel.

Red, the Steakhouse and Gotham Steak chefs participated in a barbecue competition on Saturday afternoon.

and dinner party in a hotel ballroom—moved from the back lawn when torrential rains and flooding that afternoon forced the party inside— with the hotel’s restaurants Scarpetta, Hakkasan, Gotham Steak, and Solo providing food stations Thrillist staged a branded hotel in Miami for dinner and dessert. Singer Angela Laino and Beach with three days of parties. band Suénalo performed during the cocktail reception and dinner, respectively. Thrillist is no stranger to trip giveaways. Saturday’s planned activities kicked off early MIAMI In October the email newsletter staged with morning yoga on the beach led by Equinox its Jet Mystery event, which flew 158 guests on Fitness Club instructors and a light breakfast at JetBlue to a surprise location, Jamaica, for three poolside eatery La Cote. Presenting sponsors Bacdays of activities. In an effort to create a more ardi and Corona supplied poolside liquid libations grounded presence in one of its 16 markets, the throughout the day. New York-based company created the inaugural Other afternoon activities included musicHotel Thrillist in Miami Beach June 4 to 6. spinning lessons from Scratch DJ Academy, ca“Thrillist recommends the best poeira lessons from Miami Capoeira restaurants and nightclubs [in Project, tours and animal encounHotel Thrillist Miami], and our mission [with this ters at Jungle Island exotic zoo, and Catering, Rentals, Venue initiative] was to showcase just mini massages from Equinox. DJ Fontainebleau Hotel that to a national audience,” said Elle spun for the majority of the day, Catering, Venue Red, the Steakhouse the company’s event manager, Ben and R&B singer Kat Deluna gave a Hindman. “We wanted people to be Catering Gotham Steak, special 30-minute concert complete Hakkasan, Scarpetta, Solo able to experience the brand as a with dancers on the pool deck. at the Fontainebleau local entity and not just an email.” That night Thrillist transported Costumes, DJ, Entertainment, Makeup, Thrillist ran national and local everyone to the South of Fifth Staffing Overthrow online sweepstakes for readers to neighborhood for a dinner party at DJs DJ Elle, Scratch DJ win a hotel room at the FontaineRed’s rooftop event space. DJ Señor Academy bleau, which Thrillist rebranded Stereo from event company OverEntertainment, Venue Jungle Island with signage and designated activithrow, fire dancers, and the Miami ty areas, and access to its sponsored Entertainment Miami Heat dancers entertained throughCapoeira Project, Suénalo, events. About 200 people from out the night. The Gurkha Cigars around the country, plus 100 locals The company held a farewell Sound Southern Audio Visual and national media, attended. breakfast at Gotham Steak on Transportation Coastal Car The festivities began on Friday Sunday morning before attendees Worldwide night with a welcome reception checked out. —D. Channing Muller

Weekender

PHOTOS: NICK MCGLYNN (BEACH, BIRDS), JUSTIN NAMON/WORLDREDEYE.COM (CHEFS)

Guests who signed up for the Jungle Island tour Saturday morning had hands-on experiences with the zoo’s residents.


Bartenders mixed a signature cocktail called the Glass Slipper.

More than 1,100 guests attended the event, held over three floors of the Four Seasons Centre.

Davids provided a collection of designer shoes for a display in the main lobby.

Dessert stations included pinkand-white ball gown cupcakes. Guests could visit Murale makeup stations for touch-ups throughout the night.

42 bizbash.com winter 2010–11

The evening began with a V.I.P. dinner for 136 guests in the venue’s Henry N.R. Jackman Lounge, followed by a party at 9 p.m. About 1,100 guests attended in all. Broken Social Scene took the stage at 10:30 p.m. for a mash-up performance The Canadian Opera Company’s with company ensemble stars Wallis Giunta and benefit chaneled Cinderella with Ambur Braid. Additional entertainment included a carriage and pumpkins. three drag queens who mingled with guests while playing the parts of Cinderella’s stepmother The Canadian Opera Company paid and stepsisters. TORONTO tribute to Cinderella and Rossini’s La To further play up the theme, event organizers Cenerentola with silver pumpkins, chocolate mice, placed a white carriage outside the entrance to and Glass Slipper cocktails at the Operanation the venue and dressed bars and catering stations benefit on October 29 at the Four Seasons Centre with silver-painted pumpkins and sparkling stiletfor the Performing Arts. “We always theme the to heels. Davids provided a collection of designer event around one of the season’s operas, and this shoes, from the likes of Kate Spade and Christian theme is so much fun to play with,” said special Louboutin, for a display in the main lobby. events manager Tracy Briggs. (The company presCatering provided by Rose Reisman Catering ents La Cenerentola from April 23 to May 25.) also had a fairy-tale feel, with a Baron of Beef staBriggs, who planned the event in conjunction tion in the main lobby, a cheese and chocolate stawith an executive committee co-chaired by Fayaz tion on the second floor, and a dessert station— Dossa and Claire Kennedy, explained with mini pumpkin cheesecake that organizers called the evening lollipops—on the third floor. Canadian Opera “Operanation VII, Cinderella: Rock Guests could visit Murale Company’s the Ball” to bring an indie-rock elemakeup stations for touch-ups Operanation Benefit ment to the familiar story. “We had throughout the evening, and brand Catering Rose Reisman a great lineup in terms of our enambassadors from Calvin Klein ofCatering Flowers Forget Me Not tertainment. Clara Venice acted as fered hand massages and samples Flowers the Cinderella of the evening,” said of the new fragrance, Beauty, at PR Best PR Boutique Briggs, who scheduled that perfortwo displays. Attendees could also Printing C.J. Graphics Inc. mance—described as a combination pose for photos at a photo booth Printers and Lithographers Rentals Chair-man Mills of electro-pop-meets-cabaret—for sponsored by Hello! Canada. An afStaffing The Butler Did It midnight. “Instead of turning into a ter-party took place on the rooftop Venue Four Seasons Centre pumpkin, we are going to ‘rock the of the Thompson Toronto following for the Performing Arts ball.’” the event. —Susan O’Neill

Pumpkin Bash

PHOTOS: EMMA MCINTYRE FOR BIZBASH

To play up the Cinderella theme, organizers placed a white carriage outside the entrance.


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

Although economic turbulence has tempered the intended urry of venue openings and renovations in New York this year, it didn’t bring the city to a halt. In fact, some of the bigger projects—two new baseball stadiums, the park on the High Line, and Lincoln Center’s massive overhaul—debuted in 2009, while chefs spawned more casual eateries to match the change in diner preferences . However, the biggest change will come in 2010, when the city’s only convention center unveils an expansion and renovates its existing space. By ANNA SEKULA

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

2010 bizbash national venue

guide 151

Atlantic City, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Phoenix/Scottsdale, San Diego, San Francisco, Toronto, For more information or to book your ad in either National Directory, please


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

PHOTOS: THEO WARGO/WIREIMAGE

F O T S BE

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0 1 0 2 ON BIZBASH.COM

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

bizbash.com winter 2010–11 47


010 2 F O BEST

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

House Parties

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

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

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

48

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Bandwagon Roadshow

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

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

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

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Sundance’s Tweethouse

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

Armani Exchange’s truck

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

Marc Ecko’s campaign launch

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Vans Warped Tour


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Audi’s pavilion during Art Basel Miami Beach

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Circus, Circus

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

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

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

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

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

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

Many producers looked to the big top for inspiration.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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IDS 10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

59


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

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

Feminine Wiles

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

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

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

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

60

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

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

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

010 2 F O BEST


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

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

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

More Ideas to Steal

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

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

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

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

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

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

bizbash.com winter 2010–11 61


Where Event Professionals Announce the Who, What, Where, and Wow of the Events Industry

Cohn & Wolfe

Apex Sound & Light

is pleased to announce that the company has provided the Event Management and PR for

is pleased to announce that the company has provided the Audiovisual Production for

Colgate Canada Product Launch

Three to Be’s Stems of Hope Gala

September 27, 2010 in Toronto www.cohnwolfe.com 416.924.5700

September 25, 2010 in Toronto www.apexsound.com 905.831.2739

Detailz Chair Couture

IceFX

is pleased to announce that the company has provided the Furniture Rentals for

is pleased to announce that the company has provided the Ice Sculpture for

Scotiabank Giller Prize Gala

Colgate Canada Product Launch

November 9, 2010 in Toronto www.detailzcouture.com 647.928.7328

September 27, 2010 in Toronto www.icefx.ca 416.504.6615

Westbury National Show Systems

Decor & More

is pleased to announce that the company has provided the Sound for

Graffigna Media Event

is pleased to announce that the company has provided the Props for

Three to Be’s Stems of Hope Gala

November 8, 2010 in Toronto www.westbury.com 416.752.1371

September 25, 2010 in Toronto www.decorandmore.com 905.844.1300

Sassafraz

Zero Gravity Circus

is pleased to announce that the company has provided the Catering, Staffing and Venue for

is pleased to announce that the company has provided the Entertainment for

Colgate Canada Product Launch

Three to Be’s Stems of Hope Gala

September 27, 2010 in Toronto www.sassafraz.ca 416.964.2222

September 25, 2010 in Toronto www.zerogravitycircus.com 416.469.1440

To share your success via the BashFlash program, contact your BizBash sales representative or Robert Fitzgerald at 646.839.6840.


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

New Venues

RESTAURANTS BUCA

ART GALLERY

HOTELS

TWIST GALLERY

OPENING SOON HOLIDAY INN TORONTO DOWNTOWN CENTRE

Art gallery by day and event space by night, Twist Gallery is a 5,000-square-foot New York-style loft space featuring skylights, French arch windows, and long wooden beams. The second-floor space has an open-concept layout with a small seating area at the front, including bar stools at the window ledges. The gallery holds up to 350. (1100 Queen St. West, 416.588.2222)

BARS & LOUNGES FOMO

Fomo is an intimate champagne lounge in the entertainment district. Designed to feel like a fantasy spaceship, Fomo holds up to 50 and is available for private events. The long narrow space has black banquette seating that wraps around the wall, which is lined with cocktail tables and Victoria Ghost chairs. Fomo is available for buyouts seven days a week. (270 Adelaide St. West, 416.408.3666)

The Holiday Inn Toronto Downtown Centre is set to open in February following an $18 million renovation. The property has 514 rooms and more than 9,000 square feet of meeting space spread over nine function rooms, the largest of which holds as many as 130. Meeting spaces, including three dedicated boardrooms, are equipped with ergonomic seating, audiovisual equipment, and Wi-Fi. The hotel also has a spa, a coffee shop, and two options for dining: the Carlton Restaurant, which serves bistrostyle cuisine, and Thirty Bar & Lounge. (30 Carlton St., 416.977.6655) THOMPSON TORONTO

New York-based Thompson Hotels opened its first international property, Thompson Toronto, on Wellington Street West in June. The 16-storey luxury hotel, designed by Studio Gaia, has 102 guest rooms and 30,000 square feet of dining and event space—including three restaurants, a ballroom, a lobby Host a Wine Tasting bar that holds 80, and a rooftop lounge Owned by the De Miguels and pool with space for 200. (550 Wellington St. West, 416.640.7778) family—winemakers from

Where to...

STIRLING ROOM

Designed by Prototype Design Lab, the Stirling Room—located in the Distillery District—has exposed brick walls, wooden beams, plank flooring, and high archways. Burgundy upholstered banquettes provide seating and acidrusted chandeliers hang from above. A purple baby grand piano serves as the DJ booth. The venue holds 250 and is available for full buyouts. (55 Mill St., Building 36, Suite 100, 416.364.3900)

CONVENTION CENTRE OPENING SOON NIAGARA CONVENTION & CIVIC CENTRE

The Niagara Convention & Civic Centre is scheduled to open in April. The centre will be about 500 yards from the Canadian Horseshoe Falls in the Fallsview Tourist District. The 288,000-square-foot building will house an 80,000-square-foot freespan exhibition hall, a 17,000-squarefoot ballroom, 26,500 square feet of meeting and breakout space, and a 1,000-seat theatre. (6380 Fallsview Blvd., 905.357.6222)

ENTERTAINMENT VENUE

Mendoza, Argentina—Vintage One Wines is a 10,000-squarefoot nontraditional winery in the city’s west end. Below Cirillo’s Culinary Academy, the winery has two main rooms. The first space features a small lounge with antique furnishings from Smash, a reception desk, and rows of Italian stainless steel fermenting tanks. The second space, dubbed the barrel room, is the main event space. A harvest table sits in the centre of the room, and French, Hungarian, and American oak aging barrels line the walls. The barrel room seats 45 and holds as many as 150 for receptions. The entire venue can accommodate 200. (4896 Dundas St. West, 416.231.6994)

SONY CENTRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS

Following a $30 million renovation and restoration project, the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts reopened on October 1—50 years to the date from the building’s first opening night. The venue has a refurbished 3,000-seat proscenium theatre and several multifunction spaces for events and corporate meetings, including a reconfigured lobby and a new balcony bar. Five private lounges can each accommodate groups of as many as 24 for meetings, and the lower lobby lounge and main lobby can each hold as many as 250. (1 Front St. East, 416.393.7466)

HISTORIC HOUSE

PHOTO: BIZBASH

ESTATES OF SUNNYBROOK

Nestled in a secluded setting on Bayview Avenue, the newly renovated Estates of Sunnybrook offer a choice of meeting and breakout rooms in three separate buildings—the coach house, McLean House, and Vaughan Estate. The property has a total of 17 meeting rooms and can accommodate groups of as small as six or as many as 150. Meeting spaces have natural lighting and are furnished in a residential style. Some rooms have private patios. (2075 Bayview Ave., 416.487.3841)

INDEPENDENT EVENT SPACES BISHA PRESENTATION CENTER

Designed by Munge Leung, the Bisha Presentation Centre—open since August—is a 5,000-square-foot showroom with space available for select events. The venue is intended to showcase Bisha Hotel & Residences, a 41-storey hotel and condominium project expected to open in 2014. The sales centre includes a model suite, a bar area, a presentation room with a model of the property, and a lounge filled with custom furnishings. The space holds as many as 400. (56 Blue Jays Way, 416.637.2211) LOFTRAUM @ URBANAMISH

Located in a historic building in Corktown, LoftRaum @ Urban Amish houses two levels of loft-style event space complete with hardwood flooring, exposed brick walls, original distressed wooden beams from 1880, and 12-foot ceilings. Each level has 4,000 square feet and can accommodate up to 400 people for receptions and 200 for seated functions. (86 Parliament St., 416.646.0840) LVB

The creators of LeVack Block and Restaurant Paramour opened a private event space on Ossington Avenue in October called LVB. The venue holds 150 and is filled with cream and gold decor and designed to feel like a Victorian apartment in Paris. (88 Ossington Ave., 416.916.0571)

In a space that once served as a boiler room, Buca is an Italian restaurant on King Street West with high ceilings, exposed brick walls, dark floors, and bare lightbulbs. A wine bar holds 38 and can be booked as a private room. The entire venue holds as many as 102 and is available for buyouts. (604 King St. West, 416.865.1600) EARTH

Ed Ho, owner of Globe Bistro on the Danforth, opened Earth. Interior designer Ron Nuhn used an earthy palette of dark brown and taupe, along with beams from an 1870s log cabin and recycled aluminum light fixtures. The main dining room seats 80, and a private room can hold 18. Two seasonal patios hold 50 and 23. Set menus are available for large groups. (1055 Yonge St., 416.551.9890) LE PAPILLION ON THE PARK

After 35 years as partners in the original Le Papillon on Church Street, Paul and Danielle Bigue—together with son Stephane—have opened Le Papillon on the Park. The restaurant seats 125 and is available for buyouts. A rooftop terrace holds more than 130 in the warmer months. (1001 Eastern Ave., 416.649.1001) LUMA

Luma is one of two Oliver & Bonacini restaurants located within TIFF Bell Lightbox. The restaurant, designed by KPMB, holds up to 120 in the main dining room and 44 on a patio. A private dining room can accommodate up to 14. ( 330 King St. West, 416.364.1211) ORIGIN

Chef Claudio Aprile opened his second eatery last spring. The corner spot, once home to a flower shop, holds 90 and has a wraparound patio for 75. A private room with a terrace holds 20. Aprile, known for his molecular gastronomy approach to cooking, offers a raw bar and modern global cuisine. (107 King St., 416.603.8009) PARTS & LABOUR

Located in Parkdale, Parts & Labour is a collaboration between the owners of The Social, Castor Design, and Oddfellows. The 6,000-square-foot venue houses a 140seat restaurant, a lower-level live music and event space called The Shop, and a rooftop garden where chef Matty Matheson grows ingredients for use in the restaurant’s dishes. (1566 Queen St. West, 416.588.7750) REAL SPORTS BAR AND GRILL

Owned by Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, Real Sports Bar & Grill is a 25,000-square-foot restaurant adjacent to the Air Canada Centre. The multilevel venue has 199 televisions, 112 taps with 36 brands of beer on offer, a massive screen (said to the the largest HD screen in North America), and three private suites for group entertaining. (15 York St., Unit A, 416.815.5864) ROOSEVELT ROOM

Modeled after Hollywood’s Roosevelt Hotel, the Roosevelt Room is decorated in gold, brown, and black and boasts a white granite bar fronted with intricate metal panels and brass foot rails. The entertainment district supper club seats 120 and holds 500 for receptions, but smaller semiprivate events can take place behind metallic sheers. (2 Drummond Place, 416.995.4381) SCARPETTA

Thompson Toronto’s Scarpetta is an outpost of New York chef Scott Conant’s Italian restaurant. The space seats 100 and a private dining room can hold as many as 18. Combined with the adjacent lobby bar, it holds 527. Scarpetta also offers a communal patio table surrounded by a reflecting pool and with a view of Victoria Memorial Park. (550 Wellington St. West, 416.601.3590)

MALAPARTE

Located on the sixth floor of TIFF Bell Lightbox, Malaparte is an independent event space operated by Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants. The venue, set to open in December, can accommodate 150 for seated dinners and 250 for receptions. The space has direct access to a rooftop terrace with a capacity for 200. ( 330 King St. West, 416.364.1211) WIDEAWAKE LIBERTY STUDIOS

Wideawake Liberty Studios is a 6,000-square-foot multimedia facility and recording studio in Liberty Village. The studio has a ballroom with 17-foot ceilings, a full service master bathroom, and commercial kitchen. The space is equipped with sound control booths, an automated projector screen, four LCD screens and a surround playback system. The venue is available for buyouts and holds 150. (171 East Liberty St., Suite 310, 416.970.4542)

WINE-TASTING SPACE THE WINE ESTABLISHMENT LTD.

The Wine Establishment added a new wine cellar design centre its retail space in June. The design centre can be booked in conjunction with the retail showroom for board meetings and food and wine tastings and can accommodate groups of 24 for a seated event or as many as 65 for a reception. A courtyard can also be booked. (250 The Esplanade, Courtyard Suite 104, 416.861.1331)

CORRECTION On page 64 of our July/August venue directory, we printed a listing for Verity that was incorrect. The hotel is called Ivy at Verity.

bizbash.com winter 2010–11 63


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

Twitter Off

I’m not buying the magic of social media.

Where Ted’s Been

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ted Kruckel


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Toronto Winter 2010