2018 Esprit Award Series: Best Social Event (Non-Wedding)
Thursday, August 22, 2019
The ILEA Esprit Awards program is a dynamic industry awards program, attracting an exceptional range, depth and quality of entries from all areas of live and special events. The 2018 Esprit Awards Gala was held at ILEA Live on Friday, 17 August 2018, in Denver. There were 36 different categories and over 45 winners. For the past year, ILEA Experience has been showcasing these recipients and their award-winning events.
The 2019 Esprit Award nominees were announced in May of this year, and the recipients were announced at the 2019 annual event in Minneapolis. Take a look at the recipients and their outstanding events here.
Best Social Event (Non-Wedding) (under $25,000 USD)
Great Gatsby Surprise 60th Birthday
Recipient: Erin Bjorkstedt, Eventful Planning
To do something extraordinary for her significant other’s 60th birthday, our client wanted to throw an amazing surprise party. The theme was “The Great Gatsby” with a sub-theme of “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody.” Guests were encouraged to dress the part, which was a huge success. The venue was selected because of the age of the building and the charm that it holds. The event space itself is slightly more compact than the other venues we considered, giving the event a prohibition bar feel. The invites were created with the theme in mind and included a single white match so that invitees could “burn after reading” in order to keep the party a secret. A second invite was created specifically for the birthday boy. It was created so that he would participate in dressing the part without being suspicious about the reason. Gatsby-themed posters were printed, put in black frames and placed strategically throughout the event space including the bar, photo booth, welcome table and donation table. The grand entrance included a red carpet with red velvet stanchions as well as a 6-foot gold framed welcome message. A jazz trio was hired to provide background music for the event. Shortly after the photos were taken and the host and birthday boy danced to a few songs, the fun money casino opened for business. The casino included a poker, blackjack and a craps table.
Best Social Event (Non-Wedding) ($25,000 - $75,000 USD)
The Last Dance
Recipient: Kevin Molesworth, CSEP, Brass Tacks Events
A young girl’s bat mitzvah is transformed into a farewell party for her father whose battle with terminal brain cancer was coming to a rapid end. Thrust into this very adult situation, our guest of honor asked us to deliver her ultimate wish: “Please make this party special for my daddy.” On Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, 220 guests came together in a modern, luxury hotel in North Austin, Texas, to celebrate this lovely young woman. Our company provided creative direction, strategic planning and production of the entire event. We were first contacted to design and produce this event with just 13 days’ notice. Even with a clear vision and objectives, that would be challenging, but in this case, we were given very little to go on. Our guest of honor initially gave us nothing more than the colors blue and silver as the foundation for the entire celebration. Here is what we tried to accomplish based on the client’s very own words. Objective No. 1: Make it beautiful. The linens would be blue and silver. Uplighting in a soft blue would create a soft and airy atmosphere. The ice sculptures would not only serve as interesting pieces of décor, but they would reflect any ambient light in the room nicely. The floral was a lush yet feminine combination of blue and white hydrangea, calla lilies and rich greenery. Objective No. 2: Make it special for her dad. The only way we could think to accomplish this was to make the event absolutely perfect for our mitzvah girl. We figured that if she was having the time of her life that her father would enjoy seeing her laugh and play with her friends as this would essentially be his final gift to her before his illness would take him away. Objective No. 3: Have a photo booth, a face painter and sushi. At last, just a few days before the event, our little lady gave us some direction that would could work with. Though the timing was not ideal, we worked very hard to procure these elements in the final hours of planning and were lucky to fulfill each request. Objective No. 4: Host it in a hotel. The father of our mitzvah girl wanted to offer his out-of-town guests a simple solution regarding accommodations. If the event was hosted within a hotel ballroom, family and friends would not have to worry about driving through chaotic downtown traffic following the celebration; they could simply take the elevator upstairs and go to bed at the end of the evening. Objective No. 5: Stay within a budget of $60,000. The costs of food and beverage were more than 50% of the total budget, so we had to be thoughtful with every dollar that we spent on décor and entertainment. Although we were concerned that we would become a victim to “last-minute pricing” from some vendors, that was not the case, fortunately. In the end, we were able to meet this objective with a little extra money left to spare.
Best Social Event (Non-Wedding) (over $ 75,000 USD)
50th Birthday Celebration
Recipient: Cassie Brown, CSEP, TCG Events
When a private client presented us with the vision of having a national entertainer perform in his backyard, we knew we had to achieve the extraordinary, while still reflecting his own down-to-earth persona. With the installation of a large tent and a custom-built extension to the house’s patio, we took 20,000 square feet of yard and made an intimate outdoor concert venue. Guests traveled from all over the world to attend the deceivingly relaxed backyard party with South Beach vibes. The summer-casual attire combined with the high-class food, wine and entertainment created a laidback yet classy atmosphere for the client’s array of guests. The party culminated with an unforgettable performance by an A-list national entertainer, which guests enjoyed while standing right at the edge of the stage. The client insisted on providing his guests with an entire weekend full of entertainment. Each guest submitted detailed information with their RSVP that was used to create a custom itinerary filled with activities and accommodations. In addition to Saturday night’s party, guests enjoyed rounds of golf, boutique shopping tours, five-star hotel stays and much more.
Tags: Esprit Awards , ILEA Esprit Awards , events , Best Social Event , non-wedding