Special Events

Gala Award WINNERS

Take more than 380 outstanding entries, marinate through six rounds of judging by the Special Events Magazine Advisory Board; this recipe yields the following 33 examples of outstanding work in special events.

The winners accepted their trophies and the applause of their peers at the Gala Awards and Celebration, held Jan. 13 during the final night of The Special Event 2001 in New Orleans.

If your passion for this business needs to be rekindled, start by enjoying these extraordinary events.

BEST FAIR/FESTIVAL

City of Garland, Garland, Texas

With more than 185,000 attendees and 1,000 nightly aerial effects, the 2000 Star Spangled Fourth festival in Garland has been billed as the largest Fourth of July celebration in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The annual three-day event takes place over a 15-block span around the historic downtown square. With no admission or parking fees, the event draws families from all income levels to enjoy choreographed fireworks and laser shows nightly, interactive exhibits and concerts by national recording artists.

BEST BALLOON CREATION

Fooled Ya!, Rochester, N.Y./Royal Events and Entertainment, Peabody, Mass.

A crew of 44 people worked for five days to build a balloon sculpture representative of Euro 2000, the European soccer tournament in June. The sculpture, constructed from 40,781 latex balloons, set a Guinness world record for size in nonround latex sculptures. The sculpture had so much detail that onlookers could identify the people portrayed in it.

BEST INVITATION, SOCIAL

Rick Herns Productions, Redwood City, Calif.

A safari guide and her gorilla hand-delivered a mysterious wooden crate to the door of each guest of a biannual private party. The invitee found a paper banana inside the straw-filled crate. After peeling the banana, the guest found a zebra-striped scroll that served as the invitation to the safari-themed party.

BEST INVITATION, CORPORATE

Table Talk, Calgary, Alberta

The mission in creating this invitation was to make a firm's lawyers appear irresistible and amusing. The two-part invitation promised to take the recipient on an enchanted journey from the bizarre to the bazaar. Receiving the combination of a fresh baguette, a wooden toy train whistle and first-class passage on the Orient Express resulted in an 86 percent guest turnout despite heavy snowfall.

BEST DINING TABLE DESIGN

Charles Banfield Productions, Los Angeles/Extraordinaire Floral and Event Design, Los Angeles

For his 70th birthday, the client wanted to host a party reflecting his Hungarian ancestry. Charles Banfield Productions and Extraordinaire Floral and Event Design worked together to create a gypsy camp. Tables were draped in velvet earth tones with mismatched overlays reminiscent of Old World fabrics. Pin-spotting and candlelight from 18th-century reproduction candlesticks illuminated the tables. Crystal balls, tambourines, peacock feathers and faux gold coins created unique vignettes on each table.

BEST FOOD PRESENTATION

Harith Productions, Oreland, Pa./Mandalay Bay Resort, Las Vegas

For a client's national sales meeting, Harith Productions and Mandalay Bay created a five-day event that included meetings, general sessions and awards presentations. One dessert buffet had a fire-and-ice theme, for which hotel chefs manned flamb stations. For the grand-finale dinner, the evening took on a circus theme. The menu offered such dishes as Flying Trapeze Salad.

BEST CORPORATE/COMPANY PICNIC

The Full Effect, Bedford, England

To reward staff and their families for their hard work and support, one company worked with The Full Effect to organize a corporate picnic for 3,000 guests. Held on the grounds of the scenic Witley Park Estate in England, the picnic revolved around the theme Going for Gold 2000. Theatrical props, choreographed performances and dynamic entertainment made the day memorable for guests.

BEST OFF-PREMISE CATERED EVENT

Major the Gourmet, Vancouver, British Columbia

Major the Gourmet catered an Arctic Ice Age-themed New Year's Eve party. The reception began in the ice cave, where guests dined on caviar and drank martinis, both served from bars made of ice. After the reception, guests were ushered through a dry-ice-filled time tunnel to the dining area, where they were served a seven-course dinner. At 2 a.m., guests were treated to a breakfast buffet.

BEST CATERED EVENT PRODUCED BY A HOTEL CATERING DEPARTMENT

Harith Productions, Oreland, Pa./Mandalay Bay Resort, Las Vegas

For a client's sales meeting, Harith Productions and Mandalay Bay Resort created a five-day event that included meetings, general sessions and awards presentations. One dessert buffet had a fire-and-ice theme, for which hotel chefs manned flamb stations. For the grand-finale dinner, the evening took on a circus theme. The menu offered such dishes as Flying Trapeze Salad.

BEST FUND-RAISING EVENT

Alison Silcoff Marketing and Event Planning, Montreal

The Millennium Daffodil Ball, an event benefiting the Canadian Cancer Society, was a sophisticated gala dinner/dance attended by 570 high-profile guests. Futuristic decor took four days to set up and incorporated 40,000 daffodils, lighting effects and a series of interconnecting tents. Highlights included a cocktail and caviar bar and $90,000 worth of raffle prizes. The event raised $1.4 million (Canadian).

BEST EVENT PRODUCED FOR A NONPROFIT CORPORATION

Bartsch & Trotter, Venice, Calif.

The Faces of Los Angeles media festival kicked off the 2000 Democratic National Convention for 15,000 guestsmembers of the press, delegates and elected officials. The outdoor event, which covered two city blocks, underscored a vast cultural diversity. Three stages showcased a variety of eclectic local and international entertainment. Food stations offered a cross section of the city's international flavors. Images of more than 200 local students were displayed throughout the event, giving guests an insight into what defines Los Angelesthe people.

BEST EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY

LD Systems, Houston

The eyes of Texas were on Houston in October 1999 when the downtown skyline came alive with the largest-ever combined use of music, fireworks, lasers, lighting and large-image projection. More than 2 million people witnessed the 30-minute mega-special-effect finale of The Power of Houston, a five-day festival designed to benefit four local nonprofit organizations. LD Systems blew up 50,000 pounds of explosives during the finale.

BEST WEDDING, BUDGET UNDER $30,000

Art of the Party, Surrey, British Columbia

For an intimate wedding at the bride's family home, guests enjoyed Asian-influenced hors d'oeuvre and Celtic harp music. At dinner, guests were seated at one large oval table beneath a clear tent. Floral and candles towered above the table. A seven-course tasting menu included warm duck salad and Thai lobster.

BEST WEDDING, BUDGET $30,000 AND ABOVE

Zeigler & Co., Nashville, Tenn./Joseph E. Smith & Co., Nashville, Tenn.

Zeigler & Co. created a European garden-style wedding that was both formal and relaxed. Guests dined among beaded club lamps and gold candelabras and danced on a hand-painted dance floor. Upholstered banquette seating punctuated with soft green and coral pillows created inviting conversation areas. More than 3,000 square feet of hand-painted backdrops, luscious floral, and aged columns and arches added drama to this garden fantasy.

BEST MULTIPLE-DAY INCENTIVE EVENT

The Special Event Co., London

The Special Event Co. planned a three-day sabbatical trip to London for high-profile supporters of Duke University, Durham, N.C. The events had personal tie-ins with Duke; for example, a Duke drama professor addressed the group during a visit to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. The impetus for the trip was an invitation for the group to visit the official residence of the American ambassador to the United Kingdom, a Duke alumnus.

BEST FLORAL DESIGN

Tribble Creative Group, Charlotte, N.C./John Daly Inc., International, Santa Barbara, Calif.

For the grand opening of the 150-acre Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden in Belmont, N.C., Tribble Creative Group and John Daly Inc., International, transformed a clear-span tent into a magnificent display of the four seasons. The botanical garden was brought into the tent through the use of colonnades built to match the garden arbors and a design scheme of floral arrangements on huge banquet tables and round tables.

BEST TENT INSTALLATION

Tentnology, Surrey, British Columbia

Tentnology shipped 16 Saddlespan structures from Vancouver, British Columbia, to the Hawaiian island of Maui for a corporation's product launch. Constructed of industrial fabric and aluminum aircraft trusses, these tents were used as an artistic design element and featured cathedral ceilings. A custom-designed joiner connected three tents for a tri-span interior of 20,000 square feet. Space articulators enhanced a light show while hiding backstage preparation and storage.

BEST USE OF LIGHTING

Southwest Show Tech, San Diego

For the grand opening of a casino, Southwest Show Tech created an animated 60-by-60-foot series of cultural images superimposed on the entrance, with supporting lighting effects that highlighted more than 400 linear feet of adobe-colored architecture. As guests walked up to the casino entrance, they were greeted by a four-minute story created by lighting, image projection and soundscaping that symbolized important cultural elements.

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN TECHNICAL SUPPORT

B.C. Event Management, Burnaby, British Columbia/Riggit Services, North Vancouver, British Columbia

B.C. Event Management built a 10,000-square-foot, lightproof structure to expand the permanent ballroom and to house a separate fabric-walled ballroom made of front-project cycloramas. A show of constantly changing projections appeared on these surfaces. The show used six mega-projectors, four lasers, four video projectors, 16,000 square feet of cyclorama, a high-powered dispersal system to scatter 16,000 silk leaves and snow machines to fill 825,000 cubic feet of air space.

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN LOGISTICS

BT Event Productions, Indianapolis

BT Event Productions chose Our Passport to the Future Power Destinations as the theme for this corporate event. Shuttles took guests to eight color-coded destinations spread throughout the company's facilities. The Province of Power, one of the destinations, featured musical entertainment, while Talent Town featured an antique car show. The Energy Sector had large interactive inflatables and games. BT Event Productions encountered foul weather during setup, with rain one day and high winds the next.

BEST NEW, INNOVATIVE EVENT PRODUCT/TECHNOLOGY

Transformit, Gorham, Maine

Transformit debuted its Garden of Earthly and Aquatic Delights collection of tension-fabric structures at The Special Event 2000. The collection is made up of a mix of 3-D, flowerlike sculptures, including 18-foot-tall Morning Glories, and aquatic-inspired structures such as the free-standing, 3-D Sea Fans.

BEST EVENT ENTERTAINMENT CONCEPT AND EXECUTION, ENTERTAINMENT BUDGET UNDER $50,000

EventWorks, Los Angeles

Titled Los Angeles Premiere, this multimedia production highlighted various aspects of the city. A video montage of city life was displayed on three projection screens at the center stage. After the video, performances included Taiko drummers, in-line skaters, living human sculptures, a gospel choir and a female soloist.

BEST EVENT ENTERTAINMENT CONCEPT AND EXECUTION, ENTERTAINMENT BUDGET $50,000 AND ABOVE

The Full Effect, London

For this millennium celebration, The Full Effect designed and created a stage that wound like a road throughout the dining area. Then the entertainment was choreographed to fit the unusually shaped stage. Entertainment followed three themesMystique, Street Life and Masqueradeand included acts such as stilt walkers, acrobats, unicyclists and South American dancers.

MOST OUTSTANDING SPECTACLE

Ricky Kirshner Productions, New York

To produce the 2000 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, Ricky Kirshner Productions incorporated more than 2,000 lighting instruments; an 18-by-31-foot overhead projection filled with high-tech graphics and live pictures; a 60-foot-wide podium that raised and lowered on command; a 300-member marching band; and a 22-piece orchestra. Performers included Stevie Wonder, Melissa Etheridge and Luther Vandross.

BEST EVENT PRODUCED FOR A PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL

Rare Indigo, Vancouver, British Columbia/Eclipse Productions, Vancouver, British Columbia

Rare Indigo and Eclipse Productions set out to create a winter castle for this New Year's Eve party. An ice cave featured a stylized ice bar installation, and a trip through a futuristic time tunnel brought guests to a silver and white dining area. After guests enjoyed a seven-course meal, they were invited to dance in an area where a 30-foot video wall, a laser light show and a six-hour prerecorded audio show were featured.

BEST THEATRICAL ENTERTAINMENT PRODUCTION

The Full Effect, London

For this millennium celebration, The Full Effect designed and created a stage that wound like a road throughout the dining area. Then the entertainment was choreographed to fit the unusually shaped stage. Entertainment followed three themesMystique, Street Life and Masqueradeand included acts such as stilt walkers, acrobats, unicyclists and South American dancers.

BEST THEME DECOR, TOTAL DECOR BUDGET UNDER $20,000

Designs by Sean, Dania, Fla.

Designs by Sean turned an ordinary gymnasium into an elegant venue for a bat mitzvah for 150 guests, half of whom were children. Each table in the children's area of the room was overlaid in a different color, complemented with floral centerpieces featuring feathers and jewels. The color scheme was black and white with colored accents for the children, and red, purple, blue and green for the adults.

BEST THEME DECOR, TOTAL DECOR BUDGET $20,000 TO $50,000

Nature's Daughter, Basking Ridge, N.J.

Nature's Daughter used mudcloth imported from Africa as overlays on black cotton tablecloths for this African-themed bat mitzvah. Miniature furniture, authentic African masks, woodcarvings and musical instruments were just a few of the touches added to the tabletops. The room was surrounded with canvases depicting a sunset on Africa's Serengeti plain.

BEST THEME DECOR, TOTAL DECOR BUDGET ABOVE $50,000

Lena Malouf Platinum Events, Sydney, Australia

Soft blue foil dolphins suspended from nylon cording, an aqua, silver and blue mylar curtain, and a mermaid were just a few elements of Underwater Fantasy. Panels of plywood were cut in irregular shapes and painted to resemble coral; these were suspended for a dramatic effect.

BEST EVENT PRODUCED FOR A CORPORATION OR ASSOCIATION, OVERALL BUDGET UNDER $200,000

Wow! Productions & Public Relations, Pasadena, Calif./Synaxis Meetings & Events, Los Angeles

For the 2000 WESTIE Awards, Wow! Productions and Synaxis Meetings & Events coordinated retro games, go-go dancers, a magician and look-alikes of Cher and Tina Turner. A carved-ice martini bar, a neon bar and a cigar lounge were other diversions vying for guests' attention. Throughout the event, remote camcorders recorded the fun; a live feed of the awards show was sent to the Internet.

BEST EVENT PRODUCED FOR A CORPORATION OR ASSOCIATION, OVERALL BUDGET $200,000 TO $500,000

Lena Malouf Platinum Events, Sydney, Australia

After guests were led through a time tunnel, they learned what surprise event their employer had been keeping secret from them all year. Upon entering the dome at the end of the tunnel, they discovered Galactium, where the 40-foot rigging over the dance floor rose to a countdown, with fireworks simulating the liftoff of a spaceship. Space mannequins, rockets, spaceships and aliens added to the atmosphere.

BEST EVENT PRODUCED FOR A CORPORATION OR ASSOCIATION, OVERALL BUDGET ABOVE $500,000 (tie)

Good Gracious! Events, Los Angeles

The final evening of this corporate incentive event featured a garden-themed party attended by 1,500 people. The large private estate of the client was transformed with four tents covering a total of 25,000 square feet. One tent featured an Asian garden with a teahouse built upon a bridge over the client's pool, while another tent was filled with marble columns and a two-tiered fountain. Oversize bells with Ecuadorean roses adorned the ceiling.

Extraordinary Events, Sherman Oaks, Calif.

In the face of Hurricane Floyd, Extraordinary Events produced an action-packed street fair environmentalbeit wetin Philadelphia for 10,000 VIPs of an international company. Guests donned the ponchos Extraordinary Events had provided them and were invited to enjoy the evening's entertainment, including performances by the bands Earth, Wind and Fire and World Class Rockers. Lighting of the Philadelphia Museum of Art provided a dramatic backdrop.

See this story on the Web at www.specialevents.com, a marketingclick.com site.

TAGS: Archive
Hide comments

Comments

  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Publish