Event designers can find inspiration anywhere; from pop culture and fashion to design and nature! The big challenge is to translate inspiration into a theme or design that helps communicate a brand message for their clients or company.
When planning our recent CORT VIP Event in L.A., we thought about what makes the Southern California culture special; beyond the beach, Hollywood and palm trees. We were struck by the amazing resurgence of downtown Los Angeles as a destination, and specifically the colorful street art that can be found on buildings throughout the neighborhood. We used these vibrant murals as our inspiration for the event and challenged the designers from Perfect Surroundings, Intl. to choose the images that most inspired them and create an entire event built around the art.
The results were truly spectacular. Large reproductions of street art were printed as backdrops to CORT furniture vignettes, vinyl appliqués were used on lighted bars, and printed art was used as a triptych on rows of lighted Luna columns. Individual accessories such as pineapples and other fruits were painted in primary colors with a drip technique to mimic the free style form of street art. Colorful lighting and floral complemented the urban vibe.
We transformed the mid-century lobby and patio of L.A. Center Studios into a hip urban space, echoing the art on the surrounding streets and channeling a cool Los Angeles feel for the attendees. We also challenged local event companies to participate and submit their own designs inspired by L.A. street art for a chance to win $10,000 in free rental furniture for their next event and a $1,000 American Express gift card.
Clients created their plans using CORT’s online SocialTables 3D space planner. The top three finalists were selected to bring their vision to life at the event. Party attendees watched as the designers put the finishing touches on their 10’x20’ tented spaces inspired by various street art themes.
While the designers worked, a well-known local street artist--“Bandit”--used spray paint to draw on a huge 10- by-30-foot canvas, creating a unique street art mural promoting world peace in front of attendees. Celebrity event designer and America’s Sassiest Lifestyle Guru, Steve Kemble, was the master of ceremonies. During the evening, Kemble interviewed each designer about their inspiration and how they used CORT furniture, lighting and accessories to realize their unique vision.
The winners were chosen by Jordan Carbotti and Dwayne Ridgeaway, designers at Perfect Surroundings. Designers Clint Upchurch and Ruben Gomez of Extraordinary Events came out on top for their recreation of an Extraordinary Events brainstorming workspace. Using CORT furnishings, accessories and pieces from their office, they put together a colorful conference room including whiteboards where graphic artists created their own street art. The result was a VIP Event that reflected the spirit of the downtown L.A. renaissance and the creative and colorful people who are making it happen.
Kevin Dana is executive director of marketing and product development at CORT Event Furnishings. To learn more about CORT’s exhibit and event rental collections, including its new tech tablet chair, visit www.cortevents.com.