Wednesday, December 16, 2015

When a company department or social club is given the task to come up with a corporate dinner or annual dinner theme or product launch, a safe option is to go for a colour theme.

Black and white will always be classy and here's how to rock it!

Two by Two for AIDS Art Gala and Action

Two by Two for AIDS Art Gala and Action

Todd Events designed the October 2013 event at the Rachofsky House in Dallas. "The black-and-white theme was selected because every year the event has an honorary artist," said a rep for the company. "The artist from last year worked in a black-and-white medium for his art pieces, so we played the event decor off that." Tables were decked with striped linens and glassware that reflected the theme.

Photo: Roderick Peña

Two by Two for AIDS Art Gala and Action

Two by Two for AIDS Art Gala and Action
The event's menu items also reflected the black-and-white theme.

Photo: Roderick Peña

Two by Two for AIDS Art Gala and Action

Two by Two for AIDS Art Gala and Action
Instead of a red carpet, designers laid down a black-and-white-striped carpet at the entrance.

Photo: Roderick Peña

Canada's National Ballet School Gala

Canada's National Ballet School Gala
This year's event took place at Toronto's the Carlu in February. To bring the old-Hollywood-style Casablanca theme to life, planners filled the dining room with tables decked in simple black linens and surrounded with white-cushioned chairs.

Photo: Courtesy of National Ballet School

Design Exchange Gala

Design Exchange Gala
For the 2008 event in Toronto, graffiti artist Mike Echlin painted trees against a black backdrop for a haunted-forest effect.

Photo: George Pimentel

The Art Institute of Chicago's Woman's Board Gala

The Art Institute of Chicago's Woman's Board Gala
The museum hosted a gala in 2013 to fete its "Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity" exhibition. Event designer Bill Heffernan of HMR Design Group used a black-and-white color scheme inspired by some of the 19th-century dresses on display. To complement the fashion-inspired setting, tables were topped with 19th-century-style wire urns set atop black-and-white hat boxes.

Photo: Courtesy of Art Institute of Chicago

The Phillips Collection's Gala

The Phillips Collection's Gala
At the 2007 event in Washington, designer David Tutera wrapped napkins in paper filmstrips to create an old Hollywood look.

Photo: Anne E. Stewart/BizBash

Central Park Conservancy’s Halloween Ball

Central Park Conservancy’s Halloween Ball
The 2006 ball had a look inspired by writer and illustrator Edward Gorey. Grayson Bakula Design's enchanted forest looked slightly more sinister with Bentley Meeker's barren branch projections.

Photo: BizBash

Massachusetts General Hospital's Storybook Ball

Massachusetts General Hospital's Storybook Ball
The 2011 event in Boston had a Batman theme. In a subterranean carnival area, black-and-white signs for sponsors hung above the games. Winners received prizes from the designated sponsor.

Photo: Aviran Levy for BizBash

Emmy Governors Ball

Emmy Governors Ball
The 2011 Emmy Governors Ball had the theme of "mod illusions" with a 1960s-style black-and-white decor scheme that hearkened back to the era of Truman Capote's famous bash.

Photo: Nadine Froger Photography

HBO's 'Boardwalk Empire' New York Premiere Party

HBO's 'Boardwalk Empire' New York Premiere Party
The theme played out in an exotic, draped setting at the 2010 premiere in New York. The venue was divided into three distinct areas, one of which was the black-and white-toned Rink Bar. The producers built custom cabanas in the area, using striped draping, votive candles, and seven-watt globe lights for illumination.

Photo: Keith Sirchio for BizBash

The San Francisco Symphony's Black and White Ball

The San Francisco Symphony's Black and White Ball
In 2012, the symphony decked its ball in elegant, black-and-white decor from Blueprint Studios.

Photo: Damion Hamilton

LongHouse Reserve Summer Gala

LongHouse Reserve Summer Gala
In 2010, the summertime event took place at an East Hampton sculpture garden and preserve. Presenting a more casual take on the black-and-white theme, planners erected a tented white lounge with large black scrims. The scrims displayed lyrics from honoree Laurie Anderson's songs, including "Falling," "Strange Perfumes," and "Thinking of You."

Photo: Marc Dimov/

Source: BizBash

13 Ideas for Black and White Events

When a company department or social club is given the task to come up with a corporate dinner or annual dinner theme or product launch, a s...

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The nearly limitless potential of an unused warehouse or an open loft can spark an event host’s creativity, but the flip side to that freedom is that raw space can demand much more in terms of logistics, from permitting to scheduling to laying out the space. Above and beyond the usual rundown event and meeting professionals would ask a venue before signing a contract, insiders say there are a number of specific, sometimes surprising questions that need to be asked when it comes to taking over raw space for an event.

1. Are you legally allowed to have events?

It sounds like a no-brainer, but it is a question planners need to ask when considering raw space. “Many raw spaces are not licensed to host events, so the first thing is to ask to see an occupancy certificate and what licenses they have,” says Sean Cannon, owner and C.E.O. of Event Creative in Chicago. “There are too many raw spaces that just decide to rent out for events,” he says, without bothering to verify the legality first.

2. What permits will we need?

Permitting is a topic that should be brought up regardless of where an event is being held, but raw space might have special requirements or considerations. If organizers are running a generator for auxiliary power or need to valet cars from the street, for example, they might need specific permits for those activities. Likewise, “Ask if their loading space requires street closure permits for load in and load out,” says Jeremy Nichols, executive producer at Sonoma, California-based Pix Productions.

3. Will we need to bring a generator?

If the event requires running catering, lights, audiovisual, and production equipment, the power capacity in a raw space might need a boost. “Ask how many dedicated 20-amp circuits they have,” says Merryl Brown, president of Merryl Brown Events in Carpinteria, California. Organizers should find out if there are any disconnects—switches that shut down individual circuits—available in the space, she suggests; while “plug and play” venues have these, raw spaces often don’t, Brown says.

4. If so, where will the generator go?

If the space’s power needs aren’t adequate and a generator is being brought in, planners should find out where they’re allowed to put it (and if it requires a permit). “If it’s in a raw space you may not be able to help it being in earshot of your event,” says Corrine Statia, president of Absolute Events By Corrine in Jersey City, New Jersey. “It’s not always an optimal situation.”

5. What kind of elevator access is there, and is that included in the price?

“If it’s a freight elevator, ask if access is included in the price or if you have to pay extra because it belongs to the building,” says Michael Tardi, C.E.O. of MMEink, an event management company based in New York and California. Tardi also suggests organizers go over exactly what kind of equipment they plan to bring in to ensure that it will fit in the elevator. (Oversize lighting trestles, for instance, might not.) If a freight elevator is shared by other tenants in the building where the raw space is, hosts might be required to list the entire building rather than just the space itself on their insurance, Tardi says.

6. Where and when can we load and unload equipment, and will we require overnight security?

Many spaces have only a single freight elevator, and the event team might have to share that with other tenants or businesses in the building, Statia says. To avoid having a “traffic jam” with vendors, planners should make sure everyone has a separate, specific time slot for loading and unloading—and don’t expect it to all be the same day, she warns, especially if the elevator is a shared space. “There’s a lot more time needed. If you’re in a raw space everything has to come in, rental companies don’t deliver on the morning of your event,” she says. In all likelihood, Statia adds, organizers will need to either supply their own or pay for security services supplied by the vendor to keep everything secure overnight.

7. Can I put tape on the floor?

Whether wires and cords running across the floor need to be secured to give the crew a guide of what goes where, tape is indispensable. But it might not be allowed, Tardi warns. “Some of the modern raw spaces don’t let you use tape on the floor anymore because it pulls up their finish,” he says.

8. What do you have by way of climate control?

“Ask what they do for HVAC,” Nichols says. If heating and cooling infrastructure is minimal or nonexistent, planners should ask if they can bring in gas heaters or swamp coolers, he advises.

9. What kind of kitchen facilities are there?

It’s a good idea to work with a caterer who has experience working with raw spaces, because they’ll have to bring in everything from stove tops to spoons. “Ask if there’s a kitchen facility, and if it has hot and cold running water,” Brown says. If the space is open and loftlike, hosts might need also to factor in the time and expense to cordon off a makeshift kitchen area with screens or pipe and drape. “Ask where you need to take garbage and recycling,” Brown adds, and find out if that will incur an additional fee.

10. What kind of restroom and parking facilities are there?

Don’t expect it to be like a conference center or banquet facility. “They’re very limited,” Tardi says. “You’re not going to find a large number, and it’s usually a coed bathroom,” he says. Organizers can expect maybe four or five units in a typical raw space, he says. Like everything else, if planners need more, they’ll have to bring them in.
Parking space might also be limited so you might have to consider arranging for shuttles from various meet up points.
Source: BizBash

10 Critical Questions You Should Ask When Booking a Raw Space

The nearly limitless potential of an unused warehouse or an open loft can spark an event host’s creativity, but the flip side to that fr...

Monday, December 7, 2015

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7 Year End Gifts to Give your High End Customers

It's the end of the year and if you've been scratching your heads about what to give your high end customer, here are some ideas fo...

Ensure a smooth conference experience for presenters and attendees by reviewing these critical elements at rehearsals.

1. Eyeball the lighting.

No matter the plan for the lighting design on paper, it’s critical to see how it works for presenters after the room is set up, suggests Lana Spivak, director of operations for Bisnow, a digital media company that hosts more than 250 events a year. “A lot of people don’t realize that what may look good in photographs and on stage can actually be blinding to the speaker, especially depending on their height,” she says. Work with the audiovisual team on tweaks if they are needed.
Further, instruct speakers on the correct stage positioning relative to lighting levels, says Hugh Lee, president of Fusion Productions, a meetings, learnings, and technology company that runs the DigitalNow summit. “If a speaker intends to walk the stage during their presentation, be sure to instruct them about how far upstage, downstage, and right and left they can wander,” he says. “This is especially important if there are portions of the stage where the lighting level begins to diminish, if you are capturing video of their presentation, or there are sight-line limitations.”

2. Test out the sight lines.

The surefire way to know what attendees will see when the program begins is by literally sitting in their seats. “Experiment,” Spivak says. “Make sure to do test seating prior to the event to ensure none of your audience members will have any sight-line obstructions.”

3. Proof all files and slides.

Avoid embarrassment caused by a misspelled or inaccurate slide by using the run-through as a last opportunity to double check each file. “Check all video and audio files,” says Bloomberg Global Events team lead Holly Duran. “Play them and run them all the way through. Spell-check all slides, and make sure all are in correct format.” She says that adding this procedure to your pre-event protocol also helps confirm timing and ensures actual presentation lengths match the time allotted.

4. Manage microphones.

Prep the stage by placing a backup wireless handheld in a place nearby, such as under a chair, Duran suggests. This serves as a contingency in case a speaker’s microphone backfires while in use. Also make sure the speaker knows what to do should his or her microphone give out. “Establishing a lectern on stage with a wired mic is always a great backup plan,” Lee says. He also advises using the run-through time to consult with the speakers about whether they’ll be using paper notes, folders, or props, and where they prefer those are placed.

5. Confirm Internet connectivity.

In order to make sure the event runs smoothly, and also so guests can proliferate messages on social media, it’s essential to confirm the Internet is connected and operating without hiccups. That means double checking the Wi-Fi password, Duran says. She also advises checking—and testing—that all hashtags and logins listed on slides are correct.

6. Prepare the speakers.

If using a teleprompter, make sure speakers have familiarity with and are comfortable using it. For the cleanest look on stage, use the run-through as a time to evaluate the speakers’ appearance for professionalism. “Ask the speaker to remove any credentials, pins, or other accessories they may be wearing prior to taking the stage,” Lee says. “These typically reflect light and can be distracting not only to the audience but will also appear as flashes of light on any program record videos.”
Beyond that, Lee suggests having a mirror or restroom available for presenters for makeup touch-ups, tie straightening, and other last-minute visual checks.

7. Consider speakers’ comfort.

At the run-through, make sure the event space is equipped with the essential items speakers will need so they’re comfortable enough to do their jobs on stage undistracted. That means checking to make sure there’s ample water supply and designating a person to take water on and off stage as necessary, Duran says. More specifically, Lee suggests having room-temperature water available for the presenters: “Cold water constricts the vocal cords. Have that available for after they present. Tea and coffee should also be available.”

8. Make sure the space is safe.

No event detail trumps the safety and security of participants and attendees. Those matters should be essential parts of any run-through. “Make sure cables and lines are taped down and the path to stage is clear of obstruction,” Duran says.
Source: BizBash

8 Things to Double Check at a Conference Run-Through

Ensure a smooth conference experience for presenters and attendees by reviewing these critical elements at rehearsals. 1. Eyeball th...


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