Esprit Award Series: Best Corporate Events
Thursday, November 29, 2018
The ILEA Esprit Awards program is a dynamic industry awards programs, 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, in Denver. There were 36 different categories and over 45 winners. Over the next few months, ILEA Experience will showcase these recipients and their award-winning events.
Best Corporate Event (under $75,000 USD)
Race Against the Clock: A Secret IPO Celebration
Recipient: Jason Sick, CMP, Red Velvet Events, a Global DMC Partner
To celebrate going public, an online subscription retailer requested a top-secret event for their employees in their office suite to commemorate the company’s historic day. With only two-week’s notice and an overnight load-in requirement, colorful and interactive installations were created to span three different floors of the company’s office suite.
Our first priority was to dig deep to clearly define our client’s goals and objectives to ensure our design was properly aligned. The client’s overall goals and objectives for this event were 1) to create a fun and interactive event that would span across three floors of the client’s office suite for employees to enjoy; 2) to maintain secrecy of this event from employees until the surprise of the event was scheduled to be revealed; 3) to create cohesion for activations that would be split between three different floors in an office building; and 4) to celebrate the company going public.
- Maps with the locations of the installations were designed and distributed to employees as they entered the special meeting. The twist: these maps were printed as decoder messages which would require decoder glasses to reveal what was printed on them.
- The fourth floor of the office suite featured a training room that had all of the office furniture removed and 100 pounds of confetti in five custom colors that matched our color scheme continuously being launched.
- A 12-foot by 12-foot custom ball pit was commissioned and built with less than two weeks’ notice and installed in a training room. The ball pit featured 17,000 balls that were shipped via rush freight to meet the deadline of the event.
Best Corporate Event ($75,000 - $150,000 USD)
A Christmas Carol Celebration
Recipient: Sharon Bonner, Bright Ideas Events
The theme, A Christmas Carol, was chosen by our client for their annual holiday staff party because they loved the movie and thought that it was a classic traditional Christmas story that exhibited compassion and forgiveness as Scrooge discovers the true meaning of Christmas. The transformation of Scrooge toward kindness was the message from the movie that our client wanted to focus on. Scrooge’s office is located in a village, so we decided to design and build our very own European village to support the setting in the movie. Our client wanted the event to focus on the traditional aspects of Christmas, and we wove them into our seating plan, decor design, menu planning, activities and entertainment. Each decision was carefully scrutinized to ensure that it was in line with the festive generosity of the spirit of Christmas.
We needed to create, from scratch, a setting that would engulf guests immediately into the joyful feeling of Christmas and all that is good. We established our event design incorporating the important elements of the event goals, and then set about delivering it in a way that was fun, imaginative and inviting, so that guests would be drawn into exploring all sections of the village.
Best Corporate Event (over $150,000 USD)
A Night at Star Hill Ranch
Recipient: Lauran Grimes, Red Velvet Events, a Global DMC Partner
On a fleet of buses large enough to transport over 14 football teams, guests at a weeklong tech conference ended their time in Texas on a sweet and spicy note out in Texas Hill Country at Star Hill Ranch. The evening reception brought to life a historic Texas town with eclectic local touches to build an immersive experience that included vintage western elements, fantastical delights and unique themed experiences for a large audience.
The main objectives of this event were threefold: 1) To plan a successful event to replace the previously planned event in the cancelled location on a short timeline; 2) to make a seamless experience both in transportation and in supporting all dietary requirements; and (3) to have an impactful and unique event.
- On the transportation there, each of the 33 motor coaches had a local musician playing country and folk music while views of Texas Hill Country rolled by.
- Candles flickered down the long central dining table (with over 190 seats on two long tables) and red votive candles glowed faintly inside the hidden speakeasy.
- A back pavilion just steps away from Main Street hosted a secret carnival to be discovered by guests.
- Inside the hall, guests found pinstriped servers, shelves of loose and bagged candies, and bistro tables to sit down and enjoy the delightful selection of treats, including many old-fashioned goodies like licorice strings, pink bubblegum and rainbow lollipops.
- A surprise fireworks display after ringing the church bell was a surprise for guests as many chose to head home.
Stay tuned for the next installment of the Esprit Award Recipient Review Series!