There was a lively energy coursing through the exhibit hall as spectators gathered for a Hands On: Floral Tablescaping Design Competition at this year’s Catersource + The Special Event in Orlando, FL on Wednesday, March 29th. Over 40 attendees entered for a chance to show off their skills and create beautiful tablescapes in front of their peers. What resulted was an entertaining hour that produced seven showstopping table designs.
Competitors race to create their design, grabbing glassware, linens, lighting elements, chairs, and flowers before the clock runs out. Photo courtesy Special Events Staff
Expert Las Vegas florists Michelle Joy Howard and Mylo Lopez (who co-hosted a session called Let’s Talk Floral 1.1) emceed the competition, bringing the energy as they explained the guidelines for the competition. After splitting into groups, competitors received an envelope with a description of the client and event for their team’s design. These descriptions were (somewhat outlandish) combinations of celebrities and event scenarios, like Melania Trump and Michelle Obama co-hosting a charity gala, or Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons’ release party for a children's album.
Megan Phillips, Event Designer for Twigs & Branches Floral, explains the process behind her team's design. Photo courtesy SpotMyPhotos
Teams were given drawing tools and ten minutes to talk over their plan and come up with a design. Then, Michelle and Mylo turned up the heat—they warned competitors that they’d be throwing in "killer moments” throughout the competition. For instance, teams were originally told they had ten minutes to gather supplies (all of which were products provided by sponsors), but partway through were told the time was slashed to five minutes.
During the twenty minutes the teams had to compete, killer moments came left and right to keep it interesting. Michelle went around removing flowers and décor products (“Say goodbye to these vases, ladies”), leaving teams scrambling to keep up with the new revised inventory, relying on their talent, flexibility, and each other to bring their visions to life.
A team poses with their handiwork. Photo courtesy SpotMyPhotos
After the timer went off, judges examined the masterpieces while the audience, who had been given a QR code for a chance at voting online, mingled around the tables.
A majority of the audience were caterers and florists who walked away from the experience with design inspiration and a renewed sense of creativity.
Special thanks to all who made this event possible!
Mylo Lopez, MyloFleur @mylofleurflorallv
Smithers Oasis @oasisfloralproductsnamerica
Blue Grass Chic @Bluegrasschicfloral
Atlas Event Rentals @atlaseventrental
Darnel Fabrics @darnelfabrics
Additional Charger Plates
Buffet MP @buffetmpcollections