Esprit Award Series: Best Industry Contribution, Innovation and Event With a Legacy
Thursday, May 30, 2019
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 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 ILEA Esprit Award nominees were announced on Facebook Live on Wednesday, 1 May. Take a look at the nominees and their outstanding events.
Best Industry Contribution
The Real, “UnReal” Wedding
Recipient: Dona Liston, Lambermont Events
In May of 2017, Wedding MBA put out a call for speakers asking “What have you done to give your open house a makeover?” Dona Liston, owner of Lambermont Events responded to the call. She recalled the most successful open house that she produced many years ago was a mock wedding and decided that it needed to be brought back, but this time revised and shared with our event industry. Therefore, The Real “Unreal” Wedding became a reality! A Roaring Twenties theme was chosen to match the historic venue. Twenty-two vendors were brought on board as partners, each donating their goods and services. A true team effort went in to planning the entire event. The challenge to all vendors was “if you don't do it at a real wedding, don't do it here.” There were to be no booths. While the concept was unfamiliar to most vendors, they all accepted the challenge.
Best Industry Innovation
Raining Cats and Dogs
Recipient: Rocky & Terry Toomey, Future Affairs Productions
“Raining Cats and Dogs” also received the Esprit Award for Best Technical Production. For more background on the event, click here. To develop the “rain” at the event, they tested different types of confetti, ultimately finding a finely cut, fire retardant cellophane confetti, which met all the criteria in the test environment. They presented the material on-site at the venue several months in advance; however, in this space, it was too static and stuck to everything. After many weeks of testing a variety of other media, it was determined and approved to use polymer beads, which expand in size when water is added, yet when formulated properly are dry to the touch. The dog and cat balloons required extensive research to find just the right product and then source the quantity they needed. Most of the balloon bags had to be custom sewn to fit the precise size and shape needed for the two rigs and the odd-shaped animal balloons. To ensure all parts of this complex gag would work together, the entire lighting rig, crew, New York performers and their team traveled to a sound stage in Pennsylvania for a full rehearsal. For two days, they worked on the timing of cues and ironed out technical issues. During the show, they worked hand in hand with the band’s production team, initiating the rain at the proper time.
Best Event with a Legacy
Give Kids the World Gala - A Night of Dreams
Recipient: Cameron Rust, CSEP, Hello! Destination Management
Give Kids the World Village is a beloved Central Florida nonprofit resort that gives magical cost-free vacations to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. On 16 September 2017, Give Kids the World hosted its 29th annual gala for 1,550 attendees at the Hyatt Regency Orlando. The gala featured the theme “A Night of Dreams” and used powerful dance, song and acrobatics to tell the story of a girl with a life-threatening illness that dreams of a magical place without doctors and hospitals. Using color and technology to create this fantasy world, guests were swept away in this dreamlike fantasy. Given the client’s strategy of share, support and serve, they shifted the creative goals of this year’s Gala to more closely celebrate the Village’s mission. They wanted the audience to fall in love, so they needed a visual and narrative arc that would allow them to show the cathartic experience of a family experiencing the village. Since the path to the Village is always rooted in a life-threatening illness, they used the idea of darkness turning into dawn as both a metaphor and a visual language that let them change the look of the room from stark day, to sunset, twilight, night and dawn over the course of the evening.
Stay tuned for the next installment of the 2018 Esprit Award Series!
Tags: Esprit Awards , ILEA Esprit Awards , Best Industry Innovation , Best Industry Contribution , Best Event With a Legacy