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Washington $4.95 WINTER 2010–11 BIZBASH.COM

WINTER 2010–11

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

PLUS: Sponsor Integrations, Holiday Party Bites, Stylish Stages, Twitter Skepticism, 22 New Venues, Planners’ Favorite Trends & More


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PHOTOS: TONY BROWN/IMIJINATION PHOTOGRAPHY FOR BIZBASH

WASHINGTON Volume 3, Issue 3 Winter 2010–11 © 2010 BizBash Media The Shakespeare Theatre Company embraced one of the Bard’s favorite destinations, Italy, as the theme for the Harman Center for the Arts Gala on October 3. Attendees entered the National Building Museum via an arched wooden bridge constructed by Shakespeare Theatre Company set designers. Atmosphere Inc. draped the building’s interior in rich shades. Close to 500 guests dined and danced at the gala. Venetian masks were incorporated into many of the design elements, including the floral arrangements by Suzanne Codi Floral Design. Design Cuisine Caterers served a limoncello semifreddo timbale for dessert. 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

36 National Urban League’s Targetsponsored conference kickoff

37 From Los Angeles: Discovery’s 7

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

THE SCOUT 11 Wintry curtains made of ice 12 Passed bites for holiday gatherings 14 Festive glasses and small plates for rent 16 What are clever ways to integrate trade show sponsors? 18 Innovative ideas for stage design 20 A new Washington-based custom bakery 20 11 ideas and products to have on your radar

experiential Hub network launch event 38 From Toronto: The film festival’s opening-night hockey-themed party 39 From Los Angeles: Blackberry’s custom-built Torch launch party 43 Best of 2010 The top trends, ideas, designs, and events that shaped this year THE DIRECTORY

59 New Washington venues TED KRUCKEL 60 The limits of social media

VENUES 24 Four new Washington venues EVENT REPORTS

27 Meridian International Center’s 50th anniversary black-tie gala

29 From Miami: Thrillist’s branded hotel and weekend getaway

30 Wolf Trap Foundation’s Canadian32 33 34 35

themed ball Greater Washington Sports Alliance’s comfort-minded SneakerBall From New York: Park Avenue Armory’s carnival-themed gala FedScoop’s atypical IT conference Glenn Beck’s 300,000-person Restoring Honor rally

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

bizbash.com winter 2010–11 3


From the Editors

In the Trend Trenches How do you sum up a year?

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

4 bizbash.com winter 2010–11

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

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

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

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


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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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T H E P E R F E C T S E T T I N G Y O U R H O L I D AY E V E N T

F O R

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Fireworks on the first 3 Fridays in December!

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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

“The increased focus on security and eventprofessional responsibilities after crashers made it into the White House last year.” Alison Bossert, senior vice president, special events, Columbia Tristar Marketing Group, Los Angeles

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

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

Compiled by Claire Hoffman

bizbash.com winter 2010–11 7


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?

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

How would you describe your feelings about your long-term job prospects in the event industry?

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

Haggling less

I’m terrified.

Haggling more

I’m a little worried.

10%

20%

I’m very optimistic.

2% 17%

27%

35% 32%

We’re still in the thick of the downturn. 41% We’re just starting to recover.

We’re fully recovered and back to normal.

3% 4%

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

55%

54%

Haggling about the same as a year ago

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.

I’m cautiously optimistic.

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


HOST YOUR NEXT EVENT AT NATIONALS PARK!

The home of the Nationals can be the home of your next special event! The opportunities at Washington’s hottest new venue are limited only by your imagination. t t t t t t t t t t

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PHOTO: LIN AND JIRSA PHOTOGRAPHY

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

holiday party ideas

11 bizbash.com winter 2010–2011

bizbash.com winter 2010–11 11


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

12

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.


ALWAYS 4 S T E P S A H E A D PA R T Y R E N TA L LT D.

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For Rent

holiday party ideas

Serve in Style Make end-of-year gatherings feel festive with these glasses and tasting vessels. By LISA CERICOLA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

14 bizbash.com winter 2010–11

Small Plates

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

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

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF VENDORS

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

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


Infinite ideas.

Bring creativity to life with CORT’s exclusive Endless CollectionTM, a modular seating system designed to fit any event space or party theme. With seating so versatile, the possibilities are truly infinite.


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

Ask BizBash

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

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

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

ON BIZBASH.COM More new products and services

16 bizbash.com winter 2010–11

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

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

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


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

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

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

18 bizbash.com winter 2010–11

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

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

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

Idea File

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


EVENTS THAT ILLUMINATE Hargrove will light up your next event with a distinct, creative, and innovative approach sure to engage your audience, leave a memorable impact, and produce results. When you need to shine, call Hargrove.

301.306.9000 www.hargroveinc.com


Fresh Face

TAKING THE CAKE Baker Lara Stuckey recently moved into a new retail space in McLean, where she creates custom baked goods with artful designs and flavorful combinations. from using her degree in counseling psychology and working with troubled youth and adults. Baking went from a hobby to therapy for Stuckey, who used her time at the mixer as a chance to clear her mind. When a friend asked her for a wedding cake, she decided to go full-time, opening Fluffy Thoughts in 2003. For the first seven years, Stuckey turned out custom cakes from a fully licensed galley kitchen in her two-bedroom apartment. “Our neighbors were pretty familiar with the weekend process of us going up and down the elevators with all sort of cakes,” she says. “We now have enough space that we aren’t bumping into each other and asking people to move so that we can open the oven.” What separates Fluffy Thoughts from other bakeshops around town? Stuckey is quick to point to taste. “We put a strong focus on our flavors. We always use the freshest ingredients we can find, and we are consistently experimenting

with new flavor combinations for our clients,” she says. Some of her favorite combinations include My Passion, white cake filled with passion-fruit curd and blackberry buttercream; and the Rosey, pistachio Lara Stuckey cake brushed with rosewater syrup, filled with rosewater buttercream and pistachio meringue between each layer. While a large portion of her business is generated through wedding cakes and cupcakes, Stuckey also makes designer cakes and cupcakes for corporate clients including SAIC and the Avalon Group. Louise Seghers, an editorial and event consultant, called on Stuckey to create a dessert for the gala reception at the George Washington Masonic Memorial centennial event in February. “We chose Fluffy

Iron Chef-Inspired Classes Open Kitchen (703.942.8148, openkitchen-dcmetro.com), a bistro, catering company, and cooking school in Falls Church, offers TEA MB U I L D I NG cooking contests based on the Food Network’s popular competition show. Available to groups of 12 to 25 people, the four-hour program runs Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. Teams of two to four members have an hour and 45 minutes to create a threecourse dinner that is judged on taste, presentation, and the use of ingredients. Pricing is $95 to $115 per person. —T.W.

20 bizbash.com winter 2010–11

Thoughts because of Lara’s artistic and design background,” Seghers says. “Lara helped us decide on the perfect solution to feed more than 700 guests by creating a cake tower filled with mini cupcakes topped by a small, three-tiered cake. Each cupcake was decorated with the memorial’s logo, and the tier cake incorporated designs from the building’s architecture.” Stuckey also caught the eye of Food Network producers and will be competing in an upcoming episode of Food Network Challenge, to air in 2011. —T.J. Walter

COMFORT FOOD ON WHEELS Eat Wonky (202.709.6659, eatwonky.com) is a food truck specializing in Wonky Fries, a version of the Canadian dish poutine. Menu items include fresh-cut potatoes CATE R I NG fried in peanut oil and topped with “squeaky cheese” (cheddar cheese curds) and gravy, and the Wonky Dog, an all-beef hot dog topped with Wonky Fries and gravy on a sub roll. Also available is a grilled cheese sandwich (melted squeaky cheese and spices served on a grilled sub roll) and whoopie pies from Treet Bakery. Groups can reserve the truck for events, with rates starting at $1,000 for two hours. —T.W.

PHOTOS: TAKENO KANJI (PORTRAIT), COURTESY OF OPEN KITCHEN, COURTESY OF EAT WONKY

Fluffy Thoughts Cakes (703.942.5538, fluffythoughts.com) in suburban McLean, Virginia, has only been open since April, but owner and head designer Lara Stuckey has been baking since she was five and turning out her towers of cake professionally for seven years. “I got my start with an Easy-Bake Oven, but eventually I worked my way up to what you see now,” Stuckey says while sitting in the quaint, Tiffany-blue tasting room of her 1,300-square-foot shop. While taking graduate courses at Marymount University in 2002, Stuckey needed a part-time job, which led her to Warren Brown’s D.C.-based Cakelove. “Working for Warren was an amazing experience, and hearing his story about how he went from being a lawyer to a full-time baker was inspiring to me, especially as I thought about what I was going to do after I finished school,” she says. But even Brown’s inspiration wasn’t enough to pull her away


There’s A Better Way bizbash.com/jobboard The Best Job Board in the Business FIND JOBS / POST JOBS / GET BACK TO WORK


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

1.

2.

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 color trends during the spring 2011 shows at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

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

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

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, 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.


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A Massive New York Transplant Carmine’s, the famous New York Italian restaurant, opened its third location outside of Manhattan in Washington’s Penn Quarter in August. In a space originally designed for a grocery store, Carmine’s is the largest restaurant in the District, with 20,300 square feet and seating for 700 people. Nine private dining rooms offer a range of seating arrangements—including boardroomstyle—that can fit groups as small as 10. Six of the rooms are outfitted with flat-panel televisions, personal thermostats, iPod connections, and other wireless audiovisual capabilities. Designed by Bill Johnson Studios, the location features hundreds of black-and-white photos on the walls, antique chandeliers, and large white-clothed tables. (425 7th St. NW, 202.737.7770)

Venues

A Tech-Heavy Sports Bar Near Dupont Circle, Public Bar occupies 7,600 square feet on two interior levels and a rooftop deck. The swanky sports bar, which has exposed red brick walls and marble-topped bars, can host 450 people as a whole or be divided for smaller events. Each level offers dedicated presentation capabilities and a segregated sound system, allowing for multiple private events or corporate meetings to take place at once. The main level, referred to as Courtside, can host 150 to 200 people and offers 31 TVs and a large U-shaped bar. The secondlevel lounge, dubbed the Suite, has a private bar, six large-screen TVs, and a range of lounge seating options for as many as 150 people. The Sky Box on the roof can hold 125. (1214 18th St. NW, 202.223.2200)

24 bizbash.com winter 2010–11

An Airport-Adjacent Meeting Space A two-minute drive from Dulles International Airport, the Hyatt Dulles Executive Meeting Center opened in September with 18,000 square feet of function space and 11,000 square feet of prefunction space. For meetings, there are two 1,223-square-foot boardrooms, as well as two smaller rooms that seat 24 each. The largest of two ballrooms, the 8,740-square-foot Luray Ballroom, seats 700 or holds 1,000 for receptions. The center has in-house audiovisual and catering teams, wireless Internet, a complimentary business center, and videoconferencing gear. The attached 316-room hotel offers contemporary American cuisine at its restaurant, Elements, and has a 50-seat private dining room. (2300 Dulles Corner Blvd., Herndon, Va., 703.713.1234)

A Conference Center With a View Just a short walk from the Capitol and Union Station, the 20 F Street Conference Center opened last summer. Owned and managed by the American College of Surgeons, the center has an exclusive catering contract with Windows Catering Company. The venue’s largest space is a 2,500-square-foot meeting room that can be divided into two separate rooms and can host groups of 34 to 250. Also available is a 24-seat boardroom and an 18-seat videoconference room. A 2,500-square-foot roof terrace offers views of downtown Washington and can hold as many as 450. (20 F St. NW, 202.672.1515)

ON BIZBASH.COM

Our comprehensive venue directory

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF CARMINE’S, COURTESY OF PUBLIC BAR, EARL ZUBKOFF (HYATT DULLES), TONY BROWN/IMIJINATION PHOTOGRAPHY (20 F STREET)

By CLAIRE HOFFMAN & T.J. WALTER


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PHOTO: TONY BROWN/IMIJINATION PHOTOGRAPHY FOR BIZBASH

EVENT REPORTS

Against the Grain Dried wheat in tromp l’oeil containers served as centerpieces at the Meridian International Center’s annual ball on October 1.

27


Inside, attendees danced to jazz music, while a DJ spun tunes in the outdoor tent.

Frost Lighting illuminated the outdoor dancing tent with gobos celebrating the anniversary, and David Stark’s design included printed flowers and a host of vases.

Use Your Illusion The Meridian Center celebrated its 50th anniversary with golden hues and trompe l’oeil touches.

The Meridian International Center celebrated its 50th anniversary on October 1 with its annual black-tie Meridian Ball at the center’s White-Meyer House. Benefiting the center’s international diplomacy programs, the evening is one of the most anticipated social events of the busy fall gala season, attracting members of Congress, White House staff, and private-sector executives. The center hired New York-based event producer David Stark, of David Stark Design and Production, who worked on last year’s ball for the first time. While the look and feel of the gala changes from year to year, the evening’s schedule retained its sense of tradition, as more than 400 of the 600 guests began their evening around 6:30 p.m. at one of 30 residences of ambassadors across The dessert table had town for dinner. The remainder of the guests black-and-white trompe dined in one of several rooms at the White-Meyer l’oeil-themed candelabras, House before everyone came together at 9:30 flowers, and desserts. p.m. for dessert and dancing. As with all the events he produces, Stark said he stuck with a simple goal— “Parties should be fun”—when Meridian International he began planning. “Last year, we Center’s Meridian Ball radically changed the event with Catering Design Cuisine the goal of creating a true afterCaterers Decor, Design, Flowers party that people look forward to David Stark Design and coming to after dinner, and we Production really wanted to build upon that,” DJ Patrick Mondjo he said. Last year’s changes came Entertainment Eric Felton Jazz Orchestra in the form of a large outdoor Event Management tent with a live DJ and a whimsiDufour & Company cal Alice in Wonderland design. For Gifts Keith Lipert Gallery, 2010, the tent remained and Stark Tiffany & Company Lighting Frost Lighting took inspiration from the 50th anLinens, Rentals DC Rental niversary, decking out the tables Print Design Omnivore with golden hues and the rest of Printing Masterpiece the historic space with a host of Printers, Mosaic Printing Sound RCI Sound black-and-white trompe l’oeilMore than 200 attendees dined at the Tenting HDO Productions themed chandeliers, candelabras, White-Meyer House, where Stark topped Valet Marc Parc Valet Inc. flowers, and printed backgrounds. gold-accented tables with centerpieces Venue Meridian House —T.J. Walter made from dried wheat.

The theme extended to the bars in the outdoor tent, which had intricately-designed prints attached to their mirrors and fronts. Stark’s team lined the garden walkways with red carpeting and swathed the trees in sparkling lights.

28

PHOTOS: TONY BROWN/IMIJINATION PHOTOGRAPHY FOR BIZBASH

WASHINGTON


7

xperience our elegant settings, located close to Washington, D.C., Baltimore and northern Virginia.

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.

Guests who signed up for the Jungle Island tour Saturday morning had hands-on experiences with the zooâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s residents.

and dinner party in a hotel ballroomâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;moved from the back lawn when torrential rains and ďŹ&#x201A;ooding that afternoon forced the party insideâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; with the hotelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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 SuĂŠnalo performed during the cocktail reception and dinner, respectively. Thrillist is no stranger to trip giveaways. Saturdayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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 ďŹ&#x201A;ew 158 guests on Fitness Club instructors and a light breakfast at JetBlue to a surprise location, Jamaica, for a three poolside eatery La Cote. Presenting sponsors Bacdays of activities. In an effort to create a more ardi and Corona supplied poolside liquid libations grounded presence in one of its 16 markets, the throughout the day. New York-based company created the inaugural Other afternoon activities included musicHotel Thrillist in Miami Beach June 4 to 6. spinning lessons from Scratch DJ Academy, caâ&#x20AC;&#x153;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,â&#x20AC;? said Elle spun for the majority of the day, Catering, Venue Red, the Steakhouse the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s event manager, Ben and R&B singer Kat Deluna gave a Hindman. â&#x20AC;&#x153;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.â&#x20AC;? That night Thrillist transported Costumes, DJ, Entertainment, Makeup, Thrillist ran national and local everyone to the South of Fifth StafďŹ ng Overthrow online sweepstakes for readers to neighborhood for a dinner party at DJs DJ Elle, Scratch DJ win a hotel room at the FontainebRedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rooftop event space. DJ SeĂąor Academy leau, which Thrillist rebranded with Entertainment, Venue Stereo from event company OverJungle Island signage and designated activity throw, ďŹ re dancers, and the Miami Entertainment Miami areas, and access to its sponsored Heat dancers entertained throughCapoeira Project, SuĂŠnalo, 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. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;D. Channing Muller

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

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Design Cuisine’s dishes each showcased a different product of Canada.

The Atlantic Provinces of Canada seating section included centerpieces that incorporated real fishing nets.

Light green and chocolate tablecloths along with two different floral centerpieces highlighted the British Columbia seating section.

Northern Exposure The Wolf Trap Foundation Ball highlighted four regions of Canada.

The Wolf Trap Foundation transformed the Filene Center stage complex into a visual tour of Canada for its 39th annual Wolf Trap Ball on September 24. Per the tradition of partnering with a new host country each year, the foundation teamed up with Canada for 2010 and attracted more than 750 people for the evening black-tie affair that raised $880,000. Working with the theme of “Canada: Keep The Arctic Circle seating Exploring,” Wolf Trap director of special events section featured all white Melanie McCarty and the Wolf Trap Opera Comtables and carved ice pany set designers created a variety of backdrops sculptures from Ice Kristals. and set pieces. “Each year we do our absolute best to work with the host country and highlight Design Cusine catered a trio of what the country has to offer,” McCarty said. “In maple-flavored desserts. the case of Canada, we wanted to showcase the [country’s] four major regions and what is unique in each, so we separated the stage, backstage, and the rehearsal hall into four sections.” Guests arrived through the artists’ entrance into the middle of the complex, which housed the dance floor, stage, and a wall-sized mural of the Toronto skyline. The rear rehearsal hall was decorated as the Atlantic Provinces of Canada with a seascape mural and centerpieces that incorporated real fishing nets, while the 115-foot stage was split into sections: the Arctic Circle and British Columbia. Carved ice centerpieces The Toronto Wolf Trap Ball highlighted the all-white tables seating section Audiovisual Production in the Arctic Circle section while took on a city CPR Multimedia the nature-based colors—chocoCatering Design Cuisine motif with late and light green—dominated Caterers metal wire the British Columbia section. Entertainment Odyssey seating, black Band Canada was also repreplates, and Flowers Karin’s Florist sented in the menu, catered by Tenting HDO Productions a mixture of Design Cuisine Caterers, via the Valet Atlantic Services black and white Nova Scotia lobster appetizer, Group tablecloths. Venue Wolf Trap the bison tenderloin, and the Foundation for the trio of maple flavored desserts. Performing Arts —T.J. Walter

The 10-piece Odyssey band took to the stage shortly after dinner and played a mix of contemporary dance hits.

30 bizbash.com july/august 2010

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WASHINGTON


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To help ease the silent and live auction process, the Sports Alliance worked with BidPal.

Windows Catering offered sportsthemed cupcakes.

Happy Feet The SneakerBall streamlined auctions with wireless bidding devices.

Cheerleaders, mascots, and a host of N.B.A., N.F.L., and N.H.L. stars came together at the National Building Museum on September 14 for the Greater Washington Sports Alliance’s seventh annual SneakerBall gala. The blacktie fund-raiser is a break from the typical buttonedup affairs that occur almost weekly in Washington, as the more than 900 guests were encouraged to leave their loafers and heels at home and sport their finest sneakers. The Washington Sports Alliance director of events Tricia Barry Wizards dance stuck to the Alliance’s proven formula of separatteam performed ing the spacious National Building Museum into during the three distinct sections. Predinner cocktails and cocktail hour. hors d’oeuvres, along with the silent auction, were hosted in the east section, while the awards gala and dinner (which ran $7,500 a table) took over the center section. The after-party was kept to the west section of the museum’s main floor. Though the layout stayed the same, Barry did change a few details to improve the silent auction and attract a whole new set of attendees. “The cocktail and silent-auction time is always a little hectic, as guests love to mingle with friends and the athletes and it’s also hard to go around and see all of the items available. This year we teamed up with BidPal to help ease the process,” Barry said. “When they checked in, guests got a preloaded handheld device that allowed them to bid from anywhere in the venue, know instantly when they were outbid, and find out which items didn’t have any bids.” The new technology seemed to have a positive effect on the bidding, as the silent auction, live auction, and raffle raised $85,000 for the Sports Alliance’s initiatives and the Greater Washington Sports Collaborative, topping last year’s total of $70,000. SneakerBall VII Another new aspect of this Audiovisual Production year’s gala was the effort to boost Talking Tree Creative Catering Windows Catering attendance by offering after-partyAttendees Company only tickets to an additional 200 played Decor, Staging Syzygy guests. The $125 ticket covered the arcade Event Productions open bar, multiple dessert stations Lighting Atmosphere Inc. games Valet MarcParc Inc. from Windows Catering, arcade during the Venue National Building games, and music from DJ Kirby after-party. Museum Ham. —T.J. Walter

The award gala and dinner took place in the center section of the National Building Museum’s main floor.

Local broadcasters Steve Buckhantz and Lindsay Czarniak served as the evening’s masters of ceremonies.

32 bizbash.com winter 2010–11

PHOTOS: TONY BROWN/IMIJINATION PHOTOGRAPHY FOR BIZBASH

WASHINGTON


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.


Clearwire, one of the sponsors, provided a mobile office setup for attendees.

During breaks, attendees grabbed beverages and snacks in the second-floor lobby of Harman Hall. Conference planners held all of the sessions in the amphitheater-style Harman Hall theater.

The conference featured a mix of mini keynote presentations and roundtable discussions about the intersection of government and technology.

34 bizbash.com winter 2010–11

As Seen on TV

PHOTOS: TONY BROWN/IMIJINATION PHOTOGRAPHY FOR BIZBASH

DJ Donald Syriani provided background music throughout the conference and also for the anniversary reception.

ference. “From the very beginning, we set out to create a different kind of gathering, one that was fashioned after a live show and would stimulate all the senses, from the sights and sounds to the catering and setup.” FedScoop modeled its IT conference Executives from the White House opened and after a talk show, with quick closed the conference, which began shortly after a keynotes, a DJ, and a comedian. catered breakfast by Ridgewells at 10 a.m. A wide range of speakers, including Craigslist founder More than 500 government and Craig Newmark, Huffington Post founder Arianna WASHINGTON public-sector IT and technolHuffington, and U.S. chief information officer Vivek ogy leaders came together at Sidney Harman Hall Kundra, all delivered focused, mini keynote messagin the Penn Quarter section of Washington for es from Harman Hall’s amphitheater-style stage. the FedTalks conference on October 12. Hosted by Local comedian Remy and DJ Donald Syriani, who FedScoop, a government media and marketing has played at several events at the White House, company that specializes in government IT news, also performed mini sets between sessions. the one-day conference focused on how technoloThe conference coincided with FedScoop’s gy can change government. It was designed to feel second anniversary, which was marked with a different than a typical conference. reception in the second-floor lobby “There are several IT events that of Harman Hall following the FedTalks Conference occur every day in town, and the final talk. Syriani performed while Catering Frosting, majority of them take place in gray sponsors, attendees, and speakers a Cupcakery conference rooms or nondescript sipped on cocktails and dined on Catering Ridgewells Catering hotel ballrooms,” said Goldy Kamali, hors d’oeuvres from Ridgewells DJ Donald Syriani C.E.O. and founder of FedScoop and and cupcakes from Frosting, a CupVenue Sidney Harman Hall the host and organizer of the concakery. —T.J. Walter


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

LOS ANGELES

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

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF THE HUB

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.”

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Sweet treats available at the dessert table included Swedish Fish, red and black jellybeans, and red-and-white Starlight peppermints.

Dufour & Company placed illuminated white bars around the reception area, with the Target and N.U.L. logos lighting the backdrop.

A sculpture outside of the Kennedy Center nodded to Target’s red branding.

conference kickoff party—a nod to its sponsorship of this year’s welcome concert and reception. The league marked its 100th anniversary this year and began its celebration after an address from president and chief executive Marc Morial at The National Urban League and Target the First Baptist Church of Glenarden. Buses then fused their logos into party decor. transported many of the 2,000-plus guests from the church to the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall. The National Urban League Attendees ranged from members of the league to WASHINGTON kicked off its annual four-day the community, as the event was free and open conference with a Target-sponsored welcome to the public. reception at the Kennedy Center on July 28. A celebrity performance is standard for the Event producer Philip Dufour event, and this year John Legend National Urban League played a 45-minute set in the Kenworked with Target and Greater Conference Kickoff Washington Urban League presinedy Center’s Concert Hall that dent and C.E.O. Maudine R. Cooper to Party included his hits “Ordinary People” Audiovisual Production create the event’s look, which relied and “Lifted.” Creative Video of heavily on Target’s red-and-white Afterward, attendees headed Washington color scheme. The partnership was out to Signature Special Event Catering Restaurant further promoted by projecting both Services’ 260- by 80-foot tent for Associates at The John F. Kennedy Center for the the league’s circular logo and Target’s the reception on the South Plaza. Performing Arts bull’s-eye trademark onto the recep“[Target] always wants to create DJ Patrick Mondjo tion tent’s walls. an environment that is friendly Flowers Jack H. Lucky Floral Since 2009, Target has worked diand open and fun for attendees at Design rectly with Urban League affiliates to Lighting Atmosphere an event,” Dufour said. Lighting plan events, like last year’s welcome Restaurant Associates Production Dufour & reception at the Field Museum in manned the tent’s buffet stations, Company Chicago. The Washington event, how- Tenting Signature Special serving sautéed chicken with peaEvent Services ever, marked the first time Target’s nut sauce, macaroni and cheese, Transportation Callaway color scheme and trademark have and vegetarian spring rolls. Transportation played such a prominent role in the —Jennifer Ross

Bull’s Eye

PHOTOS: TONY BROWN/IMIJINATION PHOTOGRAPHY FOR BIZBASH

Grammywinner John Legend performed in the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall.

Event producer Philip Dufour used Target’s red-and-white color scheme to create the event’s look, and projected the Urban League’s circular logo and Target’s bull’s-eye trademark onto the reception tent’s walls.


PHOTOS: COURTESY OF WASHINGTON TALENT, PHOTO AND VIDEO

Patriot Act

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


Canadian designer Breeyn McCarney used flowers to create a dress inspired by festival sponsor PerrierJouët’s Belle Epoque bottle.

Barbara Hershenhorn of Party Barbara Co. draped the Artifacts Room in all white and used white sofas from Furnishings by Corey to give the space an icy feel.

Inspired by the opening night film, Score: A Hockey Musical, the festival’s kick off gala had a dance floor that resembled an ice rink.

The Liberty Group served a selection of concession stand fare like pizza and hot dogs as well as passed hors d’oeuvres like jalapeno cheese poppers and crispy calamari. Iceculture used 9,000 pounds of ice to produce a hockey rink ice table dubbed the TIFF Shooter Bar, where guests could sample shots of Skyy Vodka.

38 bizbash.com july/august 2010

we had dasher boards all around the rink with advertising on them,” she said. The boards displayed sponsor names like Bell, RBC, Perrier-Jouët, Skyy Vodka, and Stella Artois. DJ Jojo Flores spun tunes from an elevated DJ The Toronto International Film booth, draped in black and adorned with a 2004 Festival opening gala paid Ontario Major Hockey League Division Championtribute to a hockey musical. ship banner. Additional banners hung over a food station at the end of the room, where servers offered pizza and Caesar salad to guests, and In a nod to Score: A Hockey TORONTO Musical—the opening night film hockey jerseys from the film were suspended from the rafters. at the 35th annual Toronto International Film In the Governor’s Room, a massive banner Festival—organizers of the festival’s opening reading, “Hockey is air, hockey is water, hockey night gala on September 9 filled the Liberty is life,” hung from the ceiling and Grand with concession stand Iceculture displayed a 16-foot ice fare (hot dogs and popcorn) and Toronto International sculpture shaped like a hockey rink memorabilia (jerseys, pennants, and Film Festival Opening and dubbed it the TIFF Shooter Bar. hockey pucks) reminiscent of a small Night Party The sculpture, which served as a tatown hockey arena. Catering Liberty Grand ble, held 144 shot glasses filled with Barbara Hershenhorn of Party Catering Skyy Vodka. Servers dressed in black Barbara Co. planned and produced Dance Floor, Signage National Sign & Design and white costumes reminiscent of the event, which drew 3,000 guests, Group Inc. referee outfits flanked either side of including Olivia Newton John and Design, Event the table. Nelly Furtado, both of whom star Management, Production “We tried to scale it down as in the film. Walter Gretzky, who has Party Barbara Co. DJ Jojo Flores much as you’d scale it down in a a cameo, also attended, posing for Furniture Rentals small town hockey arena,” said photographers on a bright orange Furnishings by Corey Hershenhorn, who worked with carpet (the colour of the TIFF logo) Ice Sculpture Iceculture Inc. the Liberty Group to design a menu outside the venue. Audiovisual Production, appropriate for a hockey crowd. The In an effort to replicate an arena, Lighting Event Services Group selection included Philly cheese Hershenhorn worked with McWood Props McWood Studios steak sandwiches, all-beef grilled Studios and National Sign & Design Rentals Chair-man Mills Kosher hot dogs, a poutine station, Group to turn the Artifacts Room Security Star Security Staffing, Venue Liberty pizza, and Caesar salad. Dessert ininto a pseudo ice rink. “The dance Grand Entertainment cluded chocolate hockey pucks and floor looked like a hockey rink with Complex funnel cakes. —Susan O’Neill centre ice and the blue lines. And

Big Score

PHOTOS: GARY BEECHEY FOR BIZBASH

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


A photo booth from MVS Studio mimicked the look of a BlackBerry.

A giant LED wall broadcast moving BlackBerry imagery.

Color-changing LED tubes backed a gift bag area at the entrance, where guests picked up their new smart phones.

past an arrivals carpet set up near Wilshire. Vivid, programmed, color-changing LED tubes illuminated the entrance to the party space. Below the lights was a gift table where guests could pick up their new smart phones. Inside, staffers in susBlackBerry built out a raw space for its penders and black T-shirts marked “Geek Squad” Torch launch with a performance by Drake. roamed to tell guests about the features of their new BlackBerrys while they snacked on comfort BlackBerry and AT&T hosted a favorites like grilled cheese and sliders from KathLOS ANGELES U.S. launch party for the new leen Sacchi. Torch 9800, which the brand is hyping as the first A huge LED wall lit up the room with Blacksmart phone with a full Qwerty BlackBerry keyBerry imagery. Blue lighting illuminated furniture board and large touch-screen display. In keeping from within, and with the brand’s tradition of large launch events, logo gobos decked BlackBerry Torch the party on August 11 drew a targeted crowd to a the floor and walls. Launch custom-built environment. Geoff McMurdo, vice A photo station from Catering Kathleen Sacchi: president of marketing for North America at Black- MVS Studio mimicked The Fine Art of Catering Berry maker Research in Motion, oversaw the event, the look of a smart & Events Design, PR, Production tapping Harrison & Shriftman for the production. phone device. Harrison & Shriftman The party took over a space in the building at The event inFlowers Floral Rush 5900 Wilshire Boulevard, which was completely cluded DJ sets from Furniture Rentals, Lighting gutted and reinvented. Harrison & Shriftman arFuture the Prince and Green Lab Design Studio Ltd. ranged for the walls and ceilings to be repainted a performance from Furniture Rentals Icon and remodeled and brought in decor elements, hip-hop artist Drake. Event Rentals, Modern “from the carpet to the drapes and everything in Some guests apGreen Props between—furniture, lighting, sound, and even propriately snapped Invitations John Kneapler Design custom soaps,” said Harrison & Shriftman event stage photos with producer Brett Alligood. “The Torch is the most their new phones. The Lighting Felix Lighting Photo Booth MVS Studio technologically advanced BlackBerry to date, and performer announced, Inc. we wanted to create a space that celebrates this “I go by the name of Rentals Classic Party Rentals milestone. We started with a clean, sleek, black Drake. They call me a Sound Vox Entertainment design and added multiple lighting installations BlackBerry advocate. Inc. to mimic the device’s innovation.” The build-out I never leave home Valet Chuck’s Parking took three days. without it.” Service Uplit hedging marked the way into the party, —Alesandra Dubin

PHOTOS: TYLER GOLDEN

Tech Support


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

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

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

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 43


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.

44

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Steal These Ideas

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

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

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

bizbash.com winter 2010–11 45


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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 centerpieces of lilac trees and flowers from local nurseries, which were replanted after the event.

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

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

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

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

Bandwagon Roadshow

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

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

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

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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-story dancing man. The brand also staged a block party in Harlem for the opening of its first Manhattan store, created a 4,000-person volunteer drive-cumparty during the National Conference on Volunteering and Service, and hosted more than 2,000 guests at a welcome concert and reception to kick off the National Urban League’s conference in Washington. Red Bull’s Sports Competitions This year Red Bull solidified its place as the host and sponsor of extreme and unusual sports events by bringing a leg of its international flying competition to New York’s congested and politically sensitive air space. Staged over the Hudson between Manhattan, Jersey City, and Ellis Island, the Air Race World Championship took more than three years to organize and involved permission from 16 government agen-

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

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

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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.

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

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

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

Circus, Circus

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

Steal These Ideas

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

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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 colorful decorative tubes throughout the party space—even on catering trays.

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

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

Many producers looked to the big top for inspiration.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Steal These Ideas

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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 centers. Organizers billed it as the most significant format change in the show’s 77-year history, meant to add 50 percent more space and a more efficient organization for attendees and exhibitors. A new layout merchandised exhibitors into three distinct neighborhoods for easy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

55


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

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

Feminine Wiles

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

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

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

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

56

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

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

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

010 2 F O BEST


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

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

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

More Ideas to Steal

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

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

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

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

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

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

bizbash.com winter 2010–11 57


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

New Venues BARS, LOUNGES & CLUBS BUDDHA-BAR

The Washington outpost of Buddha-Bar opened in May. The 9,500-square-foot restaurant and lounge in Mount Vernon Triangle has 22-foot ceilings and an 18-foot-tall signature Buddha sculpture in the center of its 170-seat main dining room. In addition to sushi, the Pan-Asian menu includes curry shrimp in banana leaves and wokfried beef. The bar stocks 27 sakes. The lounge seats 50, as does a recently added outdoor café. (455 Massachusetts Ave. NW, 202.377.5555) FUNXION

Loaded with high-tech eye candy and modern decor, the 1,800-square-foot bar and eatery FunXion opened downtown in March. A flight of stainless steel steps takes guests to the rear mezzanine, where seating includes low red and white banquettes and composite-stone-topped tables. The menu’s health-conscious burgers, pizzas, sandwiches, and salads contain no added salt, butter, oil, or sugar. FunXion is available for full buyouts for as many as 150. (1309 F St. NW, 202.628.8820) NATIONAL PASTIME BAR AND GRILL

Located in the Gaylord National Hotel and Resort, National Pastime Bar and Grill’s 345-seat space has a 30-foot wide high definition video wall and dozens more flat screen TVs scattered throughout the venue. Groups of up to 35 can reserve the private V.I.P. room that offers a 103-inch projection TV. (201 Waterfront St., 301.965.4000) PUBLIC BAR

Public Bar occupies 7,600 square feet on two interior levels and a rooftop deck. Available for buyout, the venue can host 450 people as a whole or be divided for smaller events. Exposed red brick and reclaimed hardwoods cover the walls and floors while marble topped bars, unique lighting elements, and a host of technological features complete the space. The menu ranges from wings to sandwiches and can be customized for individual events. (1214 18th St. NW, 202.223.2200) TWISTED VINES

Opened in March 2010, Twisted Vines is a 1,100-squarefoot wine bar and shop in the redeveloping Columbia Pike Town Center neighborhood, south of the Pentagon in Arlington. This 45-seat venue includes dark wood dining tables and highboys and a 10-seat granite-topped bar. More than 20 wines from small producers around the world are available by the glass, and more than 100 are sold by the bottle. Twisted Vines is available for full buyout. (2803 Columbia Pike, Arlington, 571.482.8581)

CONFERENCE CENTERS HYATT DULLES EXECUTIVE MEETING CENTER

This meeting center opened in September with 18,000 square feet of function space and 11,000 square feet of prefunction space. There are two 1,223-square-foot boardrooms, as well as two smaller rooms that seat 24 each. The largest of two ballrooms, the 8,740-square-foot Luray Ballroom, holds 1,000. The attached 316-room hotel offers contemporary American cuisine at its restaurant, Elements, and has a 50-seat private dining room. (2300 Dulles Corner Blvd., Herndon, Va., 703.713.1234)

PHOTOS:COURTESY PHOTO: TK OF SPIDER KELLY’S

20 F STREET CONFERENCE CENTER

The 20 F Street Conference Center opened last summer. Owned and managed by the American College of Surgeons, the center has an exclusive catering contract with Windows Catering Company. The venue’s largest space is a 2,500-square-foot meeting room that can be divided into two separate rooms and can host groups of 34 to 250. Also available is a 24-seat boardroom and an 18-seat videoconference room. A 2,500-square-foot roof terrace offers views of downtown Washington and can hold as many as 450. (20 F St. NW, 202.672.1515)

HOTELS BLUE ROCK INN

Reopened in April under new ownership and after a full renovation, the Blue Rock Inn is a cozy hilltop restaurant, bar, and guesthouse on 80 acres of Rappahannock County

opened in April. The 34-seat restaurant in a still-underrenovation townhouse offers a menu of classic dishes from the south of France. A 40-seat private dining room with its own kitchen and terrace is on the second floor, as well as a trellis roof. It is available for partial or full buyouts. (4933 Fairmont Ave., Bethesda, 301.656.7373)

farmland. Both the decor and the menu are contemporary French country. With a capacity for 150, the converted early 1900s farmhouse has a 36-seat main dining room, a 12-seat private dining room, and a 25-seat bar, all with wood-burning fireplaces. French doors from all three rooms open onto a spacious, partially-covered flagstone terrace with sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The inn’s first level also has a small library and an adjacent meeting room. Upstairs, there are four guest rooms. (12567 Lee Highway, Washington, Va., 540.987.3388)

CARMINE’S

RENAISSANCE WASHINGTON

In September, Penn Quarter welcomed the more than 9,000-square-foot Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar, which features 1950’s Havana decor and live entertainment. Staff serves innovative Latin cuisine in a 200-seat dining room decorated with murals of Cuban life. The venue also has a 50-seat bar and lounge with an extensive rum selection and a 66-seat sidewalk café. (801 9th St. NW, 202.408.1600)

The Renaissance Washington marked its 21st anniversary with a multimillion-dollar lobby renovation, which includes five distinct seating areas. The central seating area, Mingle is suitable for small groups and the new lobby bar, Mixx, offers eclectic food and cocktails. Three areas can be reserved for private groups. Relax can hold 80, Explore holds 25, and Indulge holds 40.

In August, Carmine’s opened its third location outside of Manhattan in Washington’s Penn Quarter. This 20,300 square-foot-space has seating for 700 people including a 90-seat bar and lounge area and nine private dining rooms. Groups in need of additional security can also arrange for a private V.I.P. elevator connected to the third dining room that allows for a discreet entrance and exit. (425 7th St. NW, 202.737.7770) CUBA LIBRE RESTAURANT & RUM BAR

Where to...

WASHINGTON HILTON

After undergoing a three-year $150 million renovation, the Washington Hilton reopened in June. The upgrade included new guest rooms, meeting spaces, restaurants, and a health club. Two new function spaces were added. On the terrace level, the 30,000-squarefoot Columbia Hall features a series of movable walls that allow for the space to be tailored to a variety of group sizes. The nine-room Heights Executive Meeting Center offers groups dedicated meeting space. (1919 Connecticut Ave. NW, 202.483.3000)

PRIVATE CLUB VETRO

Open since spring 2010, Vetro is a 1,400square-foot members-only lounge and event venue on the mezzanine of the Tower Building. The space features a 12-seat stainless steel bar on one side and Barcelona sofas, chairs, and adjustable cocktail tables on the other. Audiovisual capabilities include a wall of five projection screens with overhead projectors, a powerful sound system, and a DJ booth. Vetro holds 200 for a reception, seats 80, and can be combined for full buyout with Lima Restaurant to accommodate more than 800. (1401 K St. West, 202.789.2800)

RESTAURANTS AGAINN TAVERN

EQUINOX

Host a Group on Game Day Earlier this year, the owners of Clarendon bar and restaurant Spider Kelly’s took over two adjacent storefronts and transformed it from an intimate one-room lounge into an 8,000-square-foot, multiroom, cavernous space capable of hosting groups of as many as 450 people. The new space now sports more than 31 highdefinition TVs, a large, central island bar made of poured concrete, a couch-filled lounge area, a private dining room, and a side game room complete with pool tables, shuffleboard, darts, and video games. The menu offers plenty of bar food staples—burgers, chili-topped nachos, and wings—but also includes several comfort-food options—fried chicken and a Dr. Pepper-marinated pork chop—along with upscale entrées like sirloin steak and grilled mahi mahi. (3181 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, 703.312.8888)

Open since June, this gastropub from TheWhisk Group is a Rockville outpost of Againn in D.C. Reflecting its Maryland location, the 8,100-squarefoot space, formerly a Houston’s restaurant, serves items such as a crab cake sandwich. The tavern features two semiprivate rooms and can be reserved for receptions of 50. The entire venue seats 215. (12256 Rockville Pike, Rockville, 301.230.9260) AGORA

Open since May, this 170-seat restaurant and bar offers Turkish and Greek dishes prepared in a wood-fired oven or over a charcoal grill. Brick archways separate the 76-seat main dining room from the bar and lounge. An upstairs expansion can seat 48 for private dining in this 960-square-foot eatery. A patio seats an additional 34 guests. (1527 17th St. NW, 202.332.6767) BISTRO PROVENCE

Created by Yannick Cam, the Frenchman who introduced Washington to nouvelle cuisine in 1979, Bistro Provence

Closed after a fire in 2008, this restaurant reopened in April with lighter, more modern decor and a recalibrated menu. Chef Todd Gray and his wife, co-owner Ellen Kassoff Gray, have replaced the dark paneling in the private 12-seat wine room with frosted glass walls for an airy look and feel. This space includes a 100-seat dining room, and an outdoor area holds 40. (818 Connecticut Ave., 202.331.8118) ESTADIO

Restaurateur Mark Kuller and executive chef Haidar Karoum are tackling Spanish tapas with their newest eatery, Estadio, which opened in July in Logan Circle. This 28-square-foot-space has seating for 70 in the main dining room, 19 at the bar, and a 14-seat marbletopped counter offers guests a view of the open kitchen. Groups of as many as 28 can reserve the private dining room. (1520 14th St. NW, 202.319.1404) GALILEO III

Chef Roberto Donna opened Galileo III in August. The 80-seat restaurant includes a flexible 45-seat private dining room. Decor details in the 6,100-square-foot space involve a fireplace in the entry and an open kitchen. In addition to the chef’s seasonal menu of traditional Italian fare with a modern, lighter touch, 100 pre-order dishes, such as suckling pig, are available on the restaurant’s Web site. (600 14th St. NW, 202.783.0083) KUSHI

Open since last spring, the 96-seat Kushi is a casual Japanese gastropub in Mt. Vernon Triangle. The 4,000-squarefoot venue is divided into three areas: a bar with more than 30 kinds of sake; a 30-seat open-kitchen robata bar that serves up charcoal-grilled meat, fish, and vegetables; and a 14-seat sushi counter. The design is Tokyoinfluenced and features reclaimed-wood bars, large paper lanterns imported from Japan, and 18-foot ceilings. (465 K St. NW, 202.682.3123) MUSSEL BAR BY RW

Chef Robert Wiedmaier expanded his empire to Bethesda with Mussel Bar by RW in July. Guests will find a 130-seat interior composed of rustic wood with polished cement floors in this 4,000-square-foot Flemish gastropub. The menu consists of delicacies such as mussels four ways, wood-fired savory tarts, and more than 40 Belgian beers. (7262 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda, 301.215.7817)

bizbash.com winter 2010–11 59


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

Twitter Off

I’m not buying the magic of social media.

Where Ted’s Been

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

60 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



Washington Winter 2010