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Floral Affair in Austin, TX

The annual Tablescape Competition at CS+TSE produced some inspiring designs

All photos courtesy Ivan Piedra Photography/AGNYC Productions/SpotMyPhotos


Excitement was in the air as attendees gathered for the annual Tablescape Design Competition at Catersource + The Special Event, held this past February 12-15 in Austin, TX. Co-chaired by Michelle Howard (Flora Couture), Colton Staver (The JDK Group Catering & Events), and Matthew Crowe (Hilton Norfolk The Main), the event drew a crowd and got participants and attendees alike thinking outside the box about florals, plateware, linens, and tables. The result was a collection of colors and textures to inspire. 

The rules of the game were simple: 60 participants received a notecard with an event scenario and client they were to design for—celebrities like Pink!, Harry Styles, Tori Spelling, and Margot Robbie, with events like launch parties, celebrations of life, and movie premieres. Participants had time to view all of the products, come up with a design, gather supplies, and create their tables. 

A twist came when participants were assigned to work with teams other than the ones they signed up with. They were also discouraged from rushing too quickly and carelessly by losing points for product breakage. With only 20 minutes to design, they had to be strategic. Throughout the competition, there were plot twists thrown in, creating extra obstacles and challenges attendees had to overcome.

Howard, Staver, and Crowe, along with General Opening Keynote speaker Laura Schwartz and speaker and DICED competition judge Ron Ben-Israel judged the tables. The crowd also had the chance to submit their vote after taking time to view the results and gather inspiration. It was an exciting experience—just look at the following photos and you'll see!


  • Flora Couture  
  • The JDK Group Catering & Events  
  • Hilton Norfolk The Main  
  • Swapcard  
  • Bakers Man Productions LLC  
  • Bright Event Rentals  
  • BBJ La Tavola  
  • Smithers-Oasis  
  • Las Vegas Floral Wholesale  
  • Mystic Farms  
  • Monarch Florals  
  • VerTerra
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