DURING THE LONG BEACH (Calif.) Grand Prix in April, the Hyatt-Regency Long Beach and the Long Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau each wanted to host events for corporate meeting professionals. Costa Mesa, Calif.-based event producer Absolutely Fabulous! met its clients' needs with a hipster club theme that was easily duplicated for both events.
“There's a whole mystique about the '50s and the lounge acts of Las Vegas, so I suggested a Rat Pack club theme,” Absolutely Fabulous president Bernie Gaps says.
Gaps created a lounge in one of Hyatt's ballrooms featuring “unconventional seating arrangements using sofas, love seats, oversize chairs and bar stools.” Tables and chairs were topped with leopard-print spandex covers. All furniture and spandex came from Neon USA and Spandex USA inventories, also owned by Gaps.
A photo of Rat Pack members Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. playing pool greeted guests as they walked in. The team's most famous movie, “Ocean's 11,” played on a video screen.
Hyatt hosted the first event for 125 planners; two days later, the LBCVB hosted its event for another 80 guests in the same ballroom. “We just left the room set up as the Rat Pack club,” Gaps says.
Gaps says the upcoming remake of “Ocean's 11” prompted him to suggest the theme. “This movie will be hot next year when potential clients will be back in town for the Grand Prix,” he adds. “And it will be an easy theme for the hotel to sell.”
2940 College Avenue, Unit B
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
866/ABSO-FAB (227-6322); 714/556-7073