Darren Ennis says his client had only one goal for the launch event: "Make it smashing." So that's exactly what Ennis and his team at Sheba Productions did for the launch of the newest Moods of Norway clothing store, held in September at the Mall of America, just outside Minneapolis. Saluting Scandinavia, the "Really Really Blonde Party" turned more than 350 guests into blondes for a bash on a bridge.
The Minneapolis party was not just the chance for the Moods of Norway founders to celebrate their third outlet in the U.S. The brand got its start in Norway in 2003, and, "They wanted to capture the excitement of a new store launch," Ennis explains, "and the founders were just coming off their 10-year anniversary celebration in the Oslo Spektrum, with more than 7,000 attendees."
The Moods of Norway brand is noted for its lighthearted, quirky edge; its company logo is a salute to the tractors of Norway. The Sheba team and its event partner, PR firm Lola Red, took that cue and went Scandinavian—in spades.
Along with the invitation to the party, guests received blonde wigs, which were also offered at check-in. Once at the event, guests could stop at wig styling stations to get the perfect look. When every fair hair was in place, guests visited the high-end photo station from Big Red Party Button, which immediately uploaded images to flatscreens and to social media.
To keep the mood humming, DJ Jezus Juice spun upbeat disco and funk while decked out in a Moods of Norway ensemble. Bungalow 6 Design created a lounge setting enlivened with dramatic lighting and Moods of Norway gobos from EMI Audio.
GOOD COOKING "Norwegian grandmas"--members of the local Sons of Norway lodge--wore traditional Norwegian costumes while preparing a special waffle recipe served with strawberry jam and sour cream. The menu also included Jarlsberg cheese croustades and smoked salmon canapés. The evening's signature drink was a Moscow Mule in a Smirnoff-branded copper mug, along with Smirnoff pink lemonade and beers and wines.
The event was held on the skybridge of the new Radisson Blu hotel, which connects the property to the mall. While the unconventional setting made for a dramatic venue, it brought its own unique challenges.
"The skybridge is suspended over the entrance and front desk of the hotel, so we had a bit of concern about sound levels," Ennis says. He notes that that hotel management wouldn’t "normally allow" a DJ on the skybridge, "but they did, and it went famously. Director of sales Kristen Babcock and the Blu crew were great to work with."
Although the event team had only one month to plan the event, Ennis says it came off seamlessly. "It was a wonderful collaboration with talented people," he says. "The clients were thrilled, the guests had a riot, it met and exceeded expectations, and we had fun doing it!"
Is there anything he would have done differently? Yes. "I would wear a larger wig!" he jokes.