Creating the Alice world
For an incentive event, executives at the five‐star Aria Resort & Casino invited 100 members of one of its best third‐party accounts to the property to experience its guestrooms and meeting spaces. Here, a rendering of the buffet stations, lounges and perimeter decor.
Arriving at the Alice theme
For decor, the original plan was to simply let the ballroom speak for itself. While elegant and classy, the event designer came to think the ballroom — a huge profit center, but only when rented — could make a more powerful connection with these particular attendees, whose median age was 30‐something.
MGM took a risk and drew up a set of renderings for an event that would allow the attendees to experience the possibilities of that existed within that ballroom. Brainstorming sessions brought up steampunk themes or one tied to the big Electric Daisy Carnival international music festival held in Las Vegas and embraced by millennials.
The client settled on an “Alice in Wonderland” Mad Tea Party theme with a dash of EDC‐inspired music and lighting thrown in. The specialty decor would be created from props the entrant had in its vast warehouse that could be quickly customized for use at the event. Here, a rendering showing focal point elements such as a chessboard dance floor, stage and ceiling decor.
Main bar rendering
A rendering of the main bar.
The design process began the day before when the walls of the 4,300‐square‐foot ballroom were draped in sections of bright, primary colors. This was a huge part of the transformation over which, carefully placed LED signage with graphic designs featured the words “Eat Me” at the buffets, and “Drink Me” at the bars and others displaying various card suits such as clubs, hearts and spades, softly glowed. Around the room, large, colorful mushrooms grew, and signs pointed the way around Wonderland.
Here, whimsical lounges and ceiling chandeliers with warped, colorful patterns.
Fabric chandeliers re-framed with shades of bold prints hung above lounge groupings of colorful rental pieces and stock items. Sculptures, tea pots and other unique objets d’art were re-purposed as vases and filled with beautiful flowers. Intimate spaces were created using hedges, and other grass‐covered ottomans delighted the guests.
Overall room decor
The design elements extended to the entertainment with “live decor” such as a stilt‐walking flower with an LED lighted costume, a DJ dressed as the White Rabbit, and an entertaining Mad Hatter presiding over the event.
And perhaps the most talked‐about element was an oversized chess board that doubled as a dance floor. This, and the live decor, were both highly photographed and shared on social media.
Event elements included an oversize clock with spinning hands and the chessboard dance floor.
Color-changing LED boxes
Color-changing LED boxes added a surreal element.
'Eat Me' buffet station
The "Eat Me" food station.
Mad Tea Party
Tables designed to mimic the Mad Tea Party included Napoleon chairs from CORT.
White Rabbit DJ
A modern White Rabbit DJ with LED ears.
An LED stilt-walking flower.
Floral design includes oversize teacups.
Oddly shaped containers showcase floral.