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					Event Intelligence                                                                                        make their way to the door, and where an event
                                                                                                          once might have had 200 gawkers leering at
                                                                                                          a red carpet, it might now have 500, thanks to

                                                                                                          tweeted announcements.
                                                                                                                Despite all the buzz around Twitter, it has
                                                                                                          yet to become a worry for many event hosts. “I
                                                                                                          haven’t had any clients even mention a concern
                                                                                                          about Twitter yet, but I have brought it to their
Mobile technology and Web tools like Twitter make it                                                      attention,” says Cara Kleinhaut, owner of Los
                                                                                                          Angeles production firm Caravents. “For certain
easier for partygoers to spill details about high-profile                                                  events where I think people might be more
events—and harder for security staff to keep out crashers.                                                prone to tweet about a party, I’m now requesting
                                                                                                          extra security.”
By MICHAEL O’CONNELL                                                                                            One such event was a June record-release
                                                                                                          party for the Black Eyed Peas. A small venue
Texting, blogging, and online                                                                                                and artist-approved guest list
social networking have already                                                                                               meant that even savvy crashers
made it a breeze for guests to                                                                                               couldn’t find a way inside. “We
send out tips to their friends and                                                                                           had a strong security presence,
readers on scoring access to private                                                                                         and we needed all of it,” recalls
parties. Now, with the increasing                                                                                            Kleinhaut. “I saw afterward that
popularity of Twitter, the volume of                                                                                         people were tweeting about the
recipients is growing exponentially                                                                                          party and who was there.”
and the details are leaking in real                                                                                               The potential for tweet-
time. Crashers, gawkers, and                                                                                                 induced hassles can necessitate
paparazzi have instant access to                                                                                             extra planning for hosts and
more information than they’ve                                                                                                security teams. “Depending on
ever had before—on an easy-to-                                                                                               the instructions of the party staff
search platform—and security                                                                                                 at the front door, it’s not secu-
professionals and planners agree                                                                                             rity’s job to decide who actually
that 140 characters are more than                                                                                            gets in,” says Chuck Garelick,
enough to cause some trouble.                                                                                                special events services vice presi-
      Barry Meyerson, president of                                                                                           dent at Elite Investigations Ltd.,
Manhattan-based security firm                                                                                                 who’s been dealing with eager
Meyerson Associates Inc., first                                                                                               crowds on the other side of the
                                                                                                 Many guests tweeted velvet rope since he was head
noticed Twitter’s impact during
                                                                                                 the arrival of the
New York Fashion Week in                                                                                                     of security at Studio 54. “We
                                                                                                 Black Eyed Peas at
September 2008. As celebrities and partygoers      Aaron Johnson, president of San Diego-                                    just have to address these extra
                                                                                                 their June 10 album
shared details online, queues outside venues got based security management consultants release party at a                    people who won’t be getting in
longer, and throngs of paparazzi seemed thicker. Johnson & Associates. “It’s affecting the New York nightclub.               and do it in a polite way, so as to
      “It’s opened up to the public what was once  way planners for many of the celebrity                                    not escalate the situation.”
a very private realm,” Meyerson says. “Some of     events [we work on] are dealing with invitations.            Since the Twitter effect shows no sign of
these people on Twitter have thousands or tens of Some are even becoming like raves, where emails slowing—and once guests arrive at a party,
thousands of followers, and when details about     go out to specific people with date and time            there’s not much you can do, short of confiscat-
the parties get out, people in that area just come information, but no official location.”                 ing cell phones—the primary concerns for
over to try their luck. They come to the door with     But even keeping the venue a secret until          planners and security providers are preparing
the right lexicon, language, and names.”           the last minute doesn’t silence Twitter-happy          for possible tweets and ensuring that leaks
      Meyerson offers one recent job, Calvin       guests once they’ve arrived. Meyerson worked           don’t stem from the staff.
Klein’s launch party for the High Line Park, as    on a private, unpublicized party at New York’s               A gag order might seem like a no-brainer,
an example of the new challenges facing event      Standard Hotel earlier this year that saw several but the technology is still new enough that
security: “I went online afterward to research     attendees spill the beans. “It was a private,          many users don’t even realize the potential
and saw how many live tweets went out about        invite-only list, but it was tweeted from the          consequences of their actions. “As a producer,
it. It wasn’t just ‘This is an incredible spot’ or inside that Madonna was there with her new             I just have to make sure that no one from my
‘What a good opening,’ but announcements           boyfriend, and that brought out the paparazzi          staff or any of our hired vendors are the ones
of which entrances weren’t busy and where to       when we hadn’t even planned for them.”                 doing the tweeting,” Kleinhaut says.
try to get in. We had an overwhelming number           In addition to following celebrity Twitter               But for all of the extra hassle, event pros        PHOTO: DIMITRIOS KAMBOURIS/GETTY IMAGES

of people show up to an event that had to be       users, photographers can use Twitter’s search          don’t consider Twitter a complete nuisance.
contained to a certain number for legal and        function to track certain celebrities’ movements       “Is it a strain on the security staff?” Garelick
safety purposes.”                                  over the course of a night and, in many instances, asks. “Yes, but it’s ultimately a positive for
      The most-tweeted parties tend to have        learn where they might be at an exact moment.          an event. When guests use Twitter to get the
high-profile celebrity attendees, often at venues       Adding unexpected photographers to the             word out about parties, it generates press and
in nightlife-heavy neighborhoods, such as New      stragglers and rejected crashers lingering                                          it generates buzz. And
York’s meatpacking district or West Hollywood’s outside an event can cause problems with the                  ON BIZBASH.COM that’s good for plan-
Sunset Strip.                                      neighborhood and, in some cases, the police.               Our directory of         ners, sponsors, and the
      “It’s become a game of cat and mouse,” says Streets get blocked to traffic, invited guests can’t         local security firms      business.”

18 bizbash.com fall 2009
                                                                                                                               Rosalind Murphy is helping Microsoft tighten bonds
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Highlights from our online interviews with
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  innovative event strategists.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  What’s Getting Cut?
                                                                                                                               with corporate clients by looking beyond technology                                                                “The first place people look is the sheer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 number of people in atten-
                                                                                                                               departments to focus on women executives.                                                                                         dance. People are saying, ‘We
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 want to go a little smaller.’
                                                                                                                               As executive engagement manager at Microsoft’s How did you settle on the programming?                                             I went to a movie premiere
                                                                                                                               New York office, Rosalind Murphy is something of It’s just an extension of our relationship program.                               the other night and they
                                                                                                                               a social liaison between her account managers and In other regions we have annual events like C.I.O.                              didn’t really have an after-
                                                                                                                               the Fortune 500 clientele they serve.                                   forums, but I thought just having this                    party, but the filmmakers
                                                                                                                                                                          Rosalind Murphy
                                                                                                                               She produces activities and meet-                                       once a year wouldn’t be as helpful as                     and some of the stars went

                                                                                                                               ings to develop brand relationships,                                    a quarterly series. Consistent touches                    to a hotel bar and had a little
                                                                                                                               with guest lists often limited to                                       have really allowed us to develop                         bit of a celebration.”
                                                                                                                               C.I.O.s and other I.T. executives—                                      relationships even more. I didn’t want
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Brent Bolthouse, president of Bolthouse Vox
                                                                                                                               not surprising in the tech sector.                                      it to be about Microsoft selling, so we
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Events, produces some of the highest-profile
                                                                                                                               But Microsoft desires to deepen its                                     came up with the theme of passions—        events in Los Angeles.
                                                                                                                               business ties, and part of Murphy’s                                     cultural events that played off areas
                                                                                                                               job is to increase her company’s                                        like food, fashion, sports, and art.       Entering New Markets
                                                                                                                               contacts within its client base.                                        What value has the series given            “Going into some cities where we don’t
                                                                                                                                    Used to working with                                               Microsoft?                                 have an office is a scary concept—and spon-
                                                                                                                               male-dominated technology                                               If we go out four times a year, and we     sorships will be tough things to negotiate
                                                                                                                               departments, Murphy expanded                                            can get that V.P. of JPMorgan Chase        over the next year—but people are still giv-
                                                                                                                               her brand’s network with a series of quarterly            or the C.F.O. of Johnson & Johnson to come back          ing if the cause and the event are creative
                                                                                                                               events just for women. In the two years since             more than once, we’re developing that relationship.      enough.”
                                                                                                                               she introduced the Women’s Executive Forum,               We’ve managed to get 50 percent of attendees to          Joel Hock, founder and president of Solu-
                                                                                                                               she has already established it as a popular event         come back to multiple events in a given year. What       tions With Impact, took the concept of the
                                                                                                                               series, buoyed diversity at other Microsoft func-         we’ve found now in having our fifth outing is that        Car Rally for Kids With Cancer from Toronto
                                                                                                                               tions, and increased contacts within clients such         women were inviting their friends and inviting           to Los Angeles for the first time in May.
                                                                                                                               as Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and Sony.                   other women executives at their companies.
                                                                                                                               What sparked Microsoft’s push to seek out more Developing additional lines of business contacts is                 Sponsorship
                                                                                                                               female clients?                                           important to us.                                         Evolution
                                                                                                                               We just wanted to reach out to women. The staff           How do you identify the women you want to                “Sponsors are now
                                                                                                                               at Microsoft is about 75 percent male, and one of         attend the forum?                                        looking to change from
                                                                                                                               the things we found in our accounts was that when Our first step was to have our account executives                 a hospitality opportu-
                                                                                                                               you get to the customer base, the chief informa-          send out invitations to the senior women in their        nity to an opportunity
                                                                                                                               tion officers are also typically men. We wanted to         accounts, but one of the problems we encountered         that helps drive cus-
                                                                                                                               develop other executives, so we made this a push to was that there weren’t a lot—which is why we                   tomers to their busi-
                                                                                                                               find people beyond the normal I.T. roles in differ-        started this. We ended up reaching out to women’s        ness and product.”
                                                                                                                               ent areas like marketing and finance. We wanted to organizations—like Women in Communications                       Mike Berry, president and C.E.O. of the Ken-
                                                                                                                               seek out the developing female executives, women or the Executive Women’s Golf Association in New                  tucky Derby Festival, produces two weeks of
                                                                                                                               who might be in director or vice president roles          Jersey—and then we went through articles about           events leading up to the famous horse race.
                                                                                                                               now but are up-and-coming in our client base.             female executives in a few publications.
                                                                                                                                                                                                   Has recent scrutiny of corporate               Fighting for Budgets
                                                                                                                                                                                                   spending affected your approach?               “Though event marketing is one of the
                                                                                                                                                                                                   Yes, it definitely has, and I think it’s been   most immersing and engaging ways to
                                                                                                                                                                                                   in a good way. We keep the event budgets       build relationships with audiences, it isn’t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  well understood by most ad agencies, often
                                                                                                                                                                                                   between $15,000 and $20,000 for each
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  isn’t central to a media strategy, and is
                                                                                                                                                                                                   forum, and there are a lot of ways we
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  therefore easy to cut.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                   can be creative while being conscious of
                                                                                                                                                                                                   that. It’s about creating an experience—       Jennifer Üner, marketing consultant, over-
                                                                                                                                                                                                   women aren’t coming to these for               sees the unofficial Los Angeles Fashion Week
                                                                                                                                                                                                   something extravagant.                         calendar and manages fashion-related
                                                                                                                                                                                                         We’re also looking at bringing on        events.
                                                                                                                                                                                                   more partners, because there are plenty
                                                                                                                                                                                                   of companies looking to develop their            ON BIZBASH.COM
                                                                                                                                                           A 2008 Women’s Executive Forum          women’s audience and doing more                  Q&As with these and other
                                                                                                                                                           included an Alice Roi fashion show.     entertainment education programming.             top planners across the U.S.
                                                                                                                                                                                                   —Michael O’Connell                               and Canada

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           bizbash.com fall 2009 19
                                                                                                                               A Luxe New Hotel
                                                                                                                               Sporting a $52 million top-to-
                                                                                                                               bottom makeover, the former Jury’s
                                                                                                                               Washington hotel reopened as the
                                                                                                                               Dupont Hotel in late March.
                                                                                                                                   Owned by the Dublin-based Doyle
                                                                                                                               Collection, the Dupont Circle property
                                                                                                                               offers 327 guests rooms, a restaurant
                                                                                                                               with an outdoor cafe, a spacious bar,
                                                                                                                               and 9,000 square feet of flexible
                                                                                                                               meeting space.
                                                                                                                                   On the ground floor, the 100-seat
                                                                                                                               Café Dupont, includes three private
                                                                                                                               dining rooms that seat 10 to 30 guests
                                                                                                                               each and a 36-seat outdoor café.
                                                                                                                                   Across a hallway is Bar Dupont,
                                                                                                                               which looks onto Dupont Circle and
                                                                                                                               features leather and suede seating,

                                                                                                                               white marble and Venetian tile floors,
                                                                                                                               and rich dark wood.

                                                                                      Jean-Georges at the W                     of cherry blossoms and Chinese coins.
                                                                                                                                Two private dining rooms accommo-
                        By WALTER NICHOLLS                                            Signaling that the nation’s capital can’t date eight and 10 guests. In addition
                                                                                      have too many steak restaurants, in July to grilled prime-aged steaks, the menu
                                                                                      chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten opened includes fresh seafood and organic
                                             A Historic Eatery                        J&G Steakhouse on the ground level of vegetables from local farms.
                                                                                      the new W Washington D.C. hotel.              On a level below the dining
                                             Spread across three floors in an 1883         Owned by Vongerichten’s restau-       room is the Wine Bar, a tavern with
                                             fire station, the 7,300-square-foot       rant group, Culinary Concepts by Jean-    slate floors, exposed brick walls, and
                                             Columbia Firehouse opened in Old         Georges, the 96-seat main dining room concrete beams. Seating options for
                                             Town Alexandria in July.                 has 20-foot ceilings, massive arched      20 guests include a communal dining
                                                 Operated by Neighborhood             windows, and wall and ceiling murals      table and booths.
                                             Restaurant Group, the venue offers a

                                                                                                                                                                        PHOTOS: COURTESY OF THE DOYLE COLLECTION (DUPONT), COURTESY OF STARWOOD HOTELS AND RESORTS (J&G), BIZBASH (ALL OTHERS)
                                             spacious bar, a 20-seat dining room
                                             with a working fireplace, a 70-seat
                                             dining room with brick walls and a
                                             glass roof, and a patio that holds 40.
                                             The menu for the ground-floor rooms
                                             focuses on American bistro cuisine.
                                             Upstairs, an 80-seat dining room
                                             serves a chophouse menu. On the
                                             third floor, the 25-seat Wannamaker
                                             room also has a working fireplace and
                                             a 20-seat bar.

Italian in
Crystal City
In August, chefs and brothers Morou
and Amadou Ouattara opened the
6,900-square-foot eatery Kora in
Crystal City. The menu highlights
trattoria-style Italian fare and house-
made pastas and pizzas.
    A small lounge area has black
leather sofas and a dining bar over-
looking a pizza kitchen with a wood-         cent dividers and features undulat-
burning oven. The airy main dining           ing fabric overhead and a four-panel
                            room is          Warhol-esque photo of chef Morou’s
ON BIZBASH.COM broken into                   three-year-old daughter, Kora.
Our comprehensive           three sections       The venue also includes a 21-seat
venue directory             by translu-      bar and a 45-seat private room.

20 bizbash.com fall 2009
                                                                                                                                                Venues: Baltimore

                                                                                                                                                Charm City
                                                                                                                                                Comes of Age
                                                                                                                                                The area around Baltimore’s Inner Harbor                                            Sullivan’s Steakhouse
                                                                                                                                                has long been known as a family-friendly
                                                                                                                                                destination. Now, a cadre of grown-up
                                                                                                                                                venues are opening—all near the Baltimore
                                                                                                                                                Convention Center. By BRENDAN SPIEGEL

                                                                                                                                                The 202-room Hotel Monaco (2 North              A few blocks from Camden Yards,
                                                                                                                                                Charles St., 443.692.6170, monaco          Frank and Nic’s West End Grille (511
                                                                                                                                                baltimore.com) opened July 30 in the       West Pratt St., 410.685.6800, frank
                                                                                                                                                historic Baltimore & Ohio Railroad         andnics.com) opened in January,
                                                                                                                                                building, three blocks from the            putting an upscale spin on the sports
                                                                                                                                                convention center. The first Baltimore      bar. Baltimore teams are omnipres-
                                                                                                                                                property from Kimpton Hotels, the          ent on flat-screen TVs, but burgers
                                                                                                                                                Beaux-Arts building features a three-      and beers have been replaced by duck
                                                                                                                                                story lobby with Tiffany stained-glass     quesadillas and chocolate espresso

                                                                                                                                                windows and original marble floors.         martinis. The 200-seat venue is avail-     Hotel Monaco
                                                                                                                                                Nine meeting rooms total 6,244             able for buyouts, while a 60-seat
                                                                                                                                                square feet, and groups can also           private dining room includes a
                                                                                                                                                buy out the 146-seat B&O American          projector screen and bar.             B10 South                               Miss Irene’s
                                                                                                                                                Brasserie, book just the 76-seat               A bit further down the
                                                                                                                                                mezzanine, or reserve the private          harbor, in the Fells Point
                                                                                                                                                chef’s table for 10.                       neighborhood, the manage-
                                                                                                                                                     A few blocks away, subterranean       ment of the Waterfront Hotel
                                                                                                                                                café B10 South (10 South Calvert St.,      bought formerly divey neighbor
                                                                                                                                                410.528.8994, brasserie10south.com)        Miss Irene’s (1738 Thames St.,
                                                                                                                                                opened in January, serving a menu          410.558.0033, missirenesbalti
                                                                                                                                                of French-inspired American fare like      more.com) and remade it into a
                                                                                                                                                fennel-crusted tuna and chorizo-           chic bar and grill serving French-
                                                                                                                                                stuffed prawns. The 80-seat restau-        and Italian-inspired cuisine
                                                                                                                                                rant features dark leather booths lit      such as oyster mignonette and
                                                                                                                                                by votive oil lamps and is available for   saffron seafood risotto. Open
                                                                                                                                                buyouts. Parties can also reserve the      since December, the venue’s
                                                                                                                                                restaurant in conjunction with Lux         ground-level bar includes a
                                                                                                                                                Nightclub on the ground level, for a       35-seat private dining room, and
                                                                                                                                                total capacity of 240.                     the bright, homey second-floor
                                                                                                                                                     Sullivan’s Steakhouse (1 East         dining room seats 80 or holds 100.
                                                                                                                                                Pratt St., 410.962.5503, sullivan              Bringing high-end private dining
                                                                                                                                                steakhouse.com), a national chain          to another part of the city, Alizée
                                                                                                                                                of 1940s-style Chicago steak houses,       Bistro & Wine Bar (4 West University
                                                                                                                                                opened in February in a prime Inner        Pkwy., 443.449.6200, alizeebalti
                                                                                                                                                Harbor location on the first floor of        more.com) opened in February in the
                                                                                                                                                the Verizon Building. The 340-seat         Doubletree Inn at the Colonnade,
                                                                                                                                                restaurant is available for buyouts        across the street from Johns Hopkins
                                                                                                                                                and also features six private dining       University. The restaurant offers
                                                                                                                                                rooms that seat between six and 60         an inventive menu of Asian fusion
                                                                                                                                                and are equipped with plasma-screen        cuisine such as spicy Thai mussels and
                                                                                                                                                TVs, audiovisual hookups, and large        a napoleon of tuna tartare, water-
                                                                                                                                                windows. The 90-seat bar features          melon, and mint. The 100-seat dining
                                                                                                                                                live jazz six nights a week, and the       room can be bought out or divided          Frank and Nic’s
                                                                                                                                                40-seat outdoor dining area includes       into four semiprivate areas for that       West End Grille
                                                                                                                                                a humidor.                                 seat 25 each.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            bizbash.com fall 2009 21
                                                        EVENT REPORTS

                                                                   TV Dinner
                                                                   Following the Radio and Television
                                                                   Correspondents’ Association
                                                                   dinner at the Walter E. Washington
                                                                   Convention Center, some 600 guests
                                                                   walked across the street to MSNBC’s
                                                                   after-party at the Historical Society of
                                                                   Washington, D.C.

                                                               bizbash.com march/april 2009 23
                                                                       bizbash.com fall
                                                                                                                         The DJ was perched on the landing
                                                                                                                         overlooking the main floor. Adhesive signs
                                                                                                                         and arrows on the stairs pointed guests to
                                                                                                                         MSNBC host Rachel Maddow’s bar.

Held inside the
Historical Society,
MSNBC’s after-
party offered
dessert buffets
from Occasions                                                                                Atmosphere
Caterers.                                                                                     Inc. projected
                                                                                              MSNBC’s logo
                                                                                              on the walls.

                                                        the city,” explained Dana Haller, producer of strategic for guests (including Obama senior adviser David

Candy, Bars                                             marketing for MSNBC, who worked with producer                 Axlerod) in the upstairs lounge. Maddow tested her
                                                        Philip Dufour of Dufour & Co. and lighting production mixology skills by devising the evening’s drink menu
                                                        company Atmosphere to design the look.                        of throwback cocktails, such as the Hearst, a concoc-
After the Radio and Television                               Planned in a little more than a month, the               tion of gin, sweet vermouth, and bitters.
                                                        600-guest party was the biggest event that MSNBC                  Sponsor Starbucks also set up two bars, giving
Correspondents’ Association dinner,                     has ever hosted, and served as a celebration for              away Starbucks VIA Ready Brew coffee and offering
MSNBC threw a late-night party with                     MSNBC’s recent success in the ratings. Inspired by            every drink available in stores. Occasions Caterers
sugary treats and drink stations.                       the network’s logo, a blue carpet led to the Historical provided plentiful food options—in addition to
                                                        Society’s entrance. Inside, the party’s futuristic look       macaroni and cheese bites, mini milk shakes in shot
                     Guests at the 65th Radio and       included blue accents in everything from floral                glasses with straws, and a chocolate fountain, guests
WASHINGTON           Television Correspondents’         arrangements to the throw pillows in                                         could also whip up their own Cold

                                                                                                                                                                                PHOTOS: TONY BROWN/IMIJINATION PHOTOGRAPHY FOR BIZBASH
Association dinner on June 19 shouldn’t have had any    the outdoor lounge. The MSNBC motif           MSNBC’s Radio                  Stone Creamery sundaes. The sweets
problem finding the after-party hosted by MSNBC.         continued, with rotating light projec-        and Television                 continued with an old-fashioned candy
They simply walked across the street from the dinner    tions displaying logos from shows such Correspondents’                       bar (suggested by a senior executive at
at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center to the    as Andrea Mitchell Reports, The Ed Show, Association Dinner                  MSNBC) stocked with apothecary jars
Historical Society of Washington, D.C., where giant     and The Rachel Maddow Show. And the After-Party                              filled with Pop Rocks, Good & Plenty,
light projections of the MSNBC logo on the building’s   network brought in its personalities          Catering Occasions             rock candy, and Candy Buttons.
exterior lit up the night sky.                          and newscasters, like Mika Brzezinski,         Caterers                           At 12:30 a.m., servers passed trays
    The annual dinner, which was held at the conven-    Joe Scarborough, and David Schuster,          Flowers Jack H. Lucky          of mini breakfast foods including chal-
                                                                                                       Floral Design
tion center for the first time and included a speech     who mingled with White House advis-           Lighting Atmosphere Inc.       lah French toast, croissants with eggs
by Barack Obama, ended at around 10:30 p.m. As          ers and staff, including Valerie Jarrett.     Production Dufour & Co.        and bacon, and hash browns served in
the journos and politicians attending made their             But radio and television personality Rentals Perfect Settings           wooden cones. When guests finally left
way across the street to the party, music pumped        Rachel Maddow was the party’s most             L.L.C.                        at 2 a.m., they were set for breakfast
                                                                                                      Sound Maryland Sound
from speakers outside and red and blue rotating LED     accessible MSNBC star, working behind          International                 the next day, thanks to the reusable
lights cast a glow on the neoclassical building. “We    the bar—a glowing version dubbed              Venue Historical Society of    Starbucks gift bags that included a $50
wanted to make an impact and put our imprint on         “Maddow’s Bar”—to serve drinks                 Washington, D.C.              Starbucks card. —Adele Chapin

24 bizbash.com fall 2009
                                                                               Atmosphere lit the Historical
                                                                               Society’s facade in red and
                                                                               blue, with MSNBC logos.

Rachel Maddow actually
worked behind her bar.

                                Occasions waiters passed    Event sponsor Starbucks
                                frozen chocolate banana     set up two coffee lounges
                                pops coated with coconut.   at the event.

At the suggestion of an MSNBC
executive, an old fashioned                                                                                    In the upstairs lounge, a bar dedicated
candy bar was on offer.                                                                                        to Rachel Maddow served drinks like
                                                                                                               the Hearst, made with gin, sweet
                                                                                                               vermouth, and bitters.

                                                       One dessert station offered Cold Stone Creamery
                                                       made-to-order sundaes.

                                                                                                                    bizbash.com fall 2009 25
                                                                                                              The Rain
                                                                                                              in Rome
                                                                                                              Roman architecture inspired the
                                                                                                              decor at the second annual Trust
                                                                                                              for the National Mall Luncheon.

                                                                                                                                     Throwing an event in the middle
                                                                                                               WASHINGTON            of the National Mall can be a
                                                                                                                challenge, especially in wet weather. But for the
                                                                                                                Trust for the National Mall’s second annual lun-
                                                                                                                cheon on May 11, freelance planner Allison Signorelli
                                                                                                                was prepared for anything, including the rain. “We
                                                                                                                have Boy Scouts volunteering to walk guests from
                                                                                                                their cars with our signature umbrellas; we’ve come
HDO Productions erected the tent, and                                                                           up with an evacuation plan if there’s lightning; and
florist Jack Lucky filled Roman-style                                                                             we laid the floor a lot later than we normally do
vessels with irises, roses and hydrangeas.                                                                      because it was so muddy,” Signorelli said.
                                                                                                                     Despite the rain—which did come—the lun-
                                                                                                                cheon, held in a massive circus-style tent, saw a
                                                                                                                spike in attendance to 650 guests, up from last
                                                                                                                year’s 530. “We’ve been really lucky, and I attribute
                                                                                                                that to the uniqueness of having our event on the
                                                                                                                National Mall,” she said. The Trust also added a
                                                                                                                black-tie ball, held May 12 on the Mall, to the roster
                                              Boy Scouts with                                                   for its younger patrons. Together, the events raised
                                              umbrellas walked                                                  more than $1 million (up from last year’s $635,000).
                                              guests to and from                                                     Together with event co-chair Sally Akridge, who
                                              their cars.                                                       found a muse in Italian art on a recent trip to Italy,
                                                                                                                Signorelli looked to Roman architectural influences
                                                                                                                on the Mall as inspiration, and worked with the
                                                                   Design Cuisine’s first                        Trust’s women’s committee chair, Patricia Sagon,
                                                                   course was a spring                          and florist Jack Lucky to translate that concept into
                                                                   vegetable tower of red                       the decor.
                                                                   and yellow bell pepper                            Lucky filled Roman-style vessels, such as short
                                                                   layered with cheese.                         white amphoras and three-foot-tall Corinthian
                                                                                                                pedestals, with irises, yellow roses, and blue hydran-
                                                                                                                geas. Other vases took shapes from the Mall itself,
                                                                                                                including mini greenhouses that evoked the U.S.
                                                                                                                Botanical Garden and obelisks that mirrored the
                                                                                                                nearby Washington Monument.
                                     Backdrops throughout                                                            Garden elements also made an appearance,
                                     the tent reflected images                                                   with wrought-iron gates at the entrances, potted
                                     of Mall monuments.                                                         plants and sculpted trees, and two three-tier foun-
                                                                                                                tains flanking the podium.
                                                                                                                     Guests dined on Design Cuisine’s tomato moz-
                                                                                                                zarella cellini amuse bouche, peach-glazed duck
                                                                                                                with asparagus, spinach gnocchi, and popovers, and
                                                                                                                                  strawberry panna cotta for dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                           PHOTOS: TONY BROWN/IMIJINATION PHOTOGRAPHY FOR BIZBASH
                                                                                                 Trust for the National               As soon as the event was over,
                                                                                                 Mall Luncheon                    while still keeping an eye on conser-
                                                                                                 Catering Design Cuisine          vation, Signorelli rushed to switch
                                                                                                  Caterers                        over for the 600-guest Ball on the
                                                                                                 Flowers Jack H. Lucky Floral     Mall, hosted by the Trust for the
                                                                                                  Design                          National Mall’s L’Enfant Society and
                                                                                                 Flowers, Lighting, Staging
                                                                                                  Fandango Productions            sponsored by Washington Life mag-
                                                                                                 Printing MacImpressions          azine. “It’s important to do as little
                                                                                                 Production Allison               damage to the turf as possible, and
                                                                                                  Signorelli Freelance Event      we took care not to let any trucks on
                                                                                   Guests were   Rentals DC Rental                the grass,” she said. “We’re present-
                                                                                   encouraged    Signage Signs by Tomorrow        ing other organizations with a good
                                                                                                 Tents HDO Productions            model of how to do an event here
                                                                                   to wear a     Venue National Mall and
                                                                                   spring hat.                                    and just making a concerted effort
                                                                                                  Memorial Parks
                                                                                                                                  to be pro-Mall.” —Danielle O’Steen

        26 bizbash.com fall 2009
                                                                                                               in the day for the

                                                  Hair Apparent                                                beauty association’s
                                                                                                               business forum, the
                                                                                                               set design needed to
                                                                                                               be flexible. “Because
                                                  Models showed off looks on a 42-foot
                                                                                                               we were doing two
                                                  runway at the North American                                 different events on
                                                  Hairstyling Awards at Mandalay Bay.                          one stage on the
                                                                                                               same day, we used
                                                                    On July 19, an estimated 2,000             a combination of a
                                                   LAS VEGAS attendees gathered at Mandalay                    drape and hard-wall
                                                  Bay for the North American Hairstyling Awards. Held          set,” said Kevin Molin,
                                                  in conjunction with Cosmoprof North America and              managing director of
                                                  the Professional Beauty Association’s Beauty Week,           production services
                                                  which ran from July 18 to 21, the 20th annual awards         for Minneapolis-based Models showcased the
                                                  event—dubbed “Honoring the Work. Stories. Style!”— Triad Productions.                     finalists’ hair and makeup
                                                  celebrated top hairstylists and beauty professionals         “For the evening, we         looks on a 42-foot runway.
                                                  at a high-energy, two-hour gala ceremony inside the          pulled away the hard
                                                  Mandalay Bay Convention Center.                              wall beneath the central video screen to reveal four
                                                       Twelve awards were distributed in categories            columns that created five entrances, which were
                                                  such as hairstylist or makeup artist of the year.            used by the presenters throughout the night. It was a
                                                  Access Hollywood co-anchor Nancy O’Dell was on               creative and quick way to do a set change.”
                                                  hand to receive the inaugural beauty association’s                Finalists were seated at rounds near the stage,
                                                  Beautiful Humanitarian Award for her                                         while spectators filled in theater-style    Redken founders took to

                                                  longstanding commitment to a variety          North American Hair            seating behind them. In previous years     the podium at the North
                                                  of charities.                                 Styling Awards                 celebrities had been brought in to         American Hairstyling
                                                       The focal point for the ceremony         Entertainment Flying Ace       participate in the awards program as       Association’s awards.
                                                  was a 48-foot-wide, black-and-white            Productions                   M.C.s, but this year organizers opted to
                                                                                                PR Y Public Relations
                                                  stage lit variably by moving lights and                                      feature past award winners as present-     occasion that the hairstylists themselves actually
                                                                                                Production InSync Show
                                                  static washes. It was bisected by a            Productions                   ers. Two stationary and two handheld       attend. It’s grown from around 200 participants to
                                                  42-foot-long runway on which models           Production Triad               cameras were enlisted to document          nearly 2,000 this year,” said the beauty association’s
                                                  flown in from New York and Chicago             Talent Equanimity Inc.         the event; the footage will be used in     director of program development and education,
                                                  showcased the hair and makeup artistry Venue Mandalay Bay                    future awards programs.                    Bonnie Bonadeo. “It’s the place to be enlightened
                                                                                                 Resort & Casino
                                                  of the finalists and winners.                  Video Production                    “It’s essentially turned from a       by some of the best hairstylists in North America.”
                                                       Since the ballroom was used earlier       Southwest Host Services       business-to-business event to an           —Erika Pope

                                                                                                                                                                          Going Joe
                                                                                                                                                                          The Army & Air Force Exchange Service
                                                                                                                                                                          and Paramount Pictures offered an early
                                                                                                                                                                          screening of G.I. Joe to nearly 1,000
                                                                                                                                                                          service members and their families.

                                                                                                                                                                                              As a part of Paramount Pictures’
                                                                                                                                                                          WASHINGTON          $150 million promotional
                                                                                                                                                                          campaign aimed at nontraditional markets, G.I. Joe:
                                                                                                                                                                          The Rise of the Cobra held one of its U.S. premiere
                                                                                                                                                                          events at Andrews Air Force Base in Camp Springs,
                                                                                                                                                                          Maryland, on July 31. Screening the film for almost
                                                                                                                                                                                           1,000 service members and their
                                                                                                                                                                                           families, the event hosted by the
                                                                                                                                                                                           Army & Air Force Exchange Service
                                                                                                                                                                                           included appearances by cast
                                                                                                                                                                                           members Sienna Miller, Channing
                                                                                                                                                                                           Tatum, and Marlon Wayans.
                                                                                                                                                                                                A.A.E.F.S. motion picture program
                                                                                                                                                                                           manager Jon Walters produced the
                                                   G.I. Joe stars Channing
                                                                                                                                                                                           event with Paramount; it included a
                                                   Tatum and Sienna Miller
                                                                                                                                                                                           meet-and-greet with the cast, arriv-
                                                   arrived in a Humvee,
                                                                                                                                                                                           als on a Humvee, and a giveaway of
                                                   waving to guests from
                                                                                                    Cast members presented                                                                 Hasbro’s G.I. Joe toys to child patients
                                                   the gun turret.
                                                                                                    children—and a few                                                                     from Walter Reed Medical Center.
                                                                                                    adults—with the new                                                                    —Michael O’Connell
                                                                                                    line of G.I. Joe toys
                                                                                                    released for the film.
                                                                                                                                                                                             bizbash.com fall 2009 27
                              The lower
                              level of the
                              house became
                              the Berlin
                              Bar, where
                              singer Ute

                                cubes displayed
                                Design Cuisine’s
                                desserts, such
                                                                                                                       The Source performed Motown classics in front
                                as strudel and
                                                                                                                       of a Berlin Wall backdrop at the Opera Ball.
                                rustic fruit tarts.

                                                                                                                     became a Bellagio-style fountain, with five Dancing

                                                      Graffiti Galore                                                 Waters performances of water and light, each set to
                                                                                                                     music by German composers.
                                                                                                                          One side of the Berlin Wall replica served as a
                                                                                                                     backdrop for the band The Source, which played
                                                      For its annual fund-raising ball, the
                                                                                                                     Motown classics as guests danced in the Lucite
                                                      Washington National Opera partnered                            and plexiglass-floored clear tent—an Opera Ball
                              Costumed                with the German Embassy for a celebra-                         staple that this year had air-conditioning for the
                              actors                  tion of German music and culture.                              first time—constructed on the terrace. As in years
                              greeted and                                                                            past, Opera supernumeraries dressed in elaborate
                              mingled                                      A 12-foot-tall, 34-foot-long replica costumes from operas like The Magic Flute and
                              with guests.             WASHINGTON of the Berlin Wall set the tone at greeted guests as they arrived from dinners at vari-
                                                      the Washington National Opera Ball on June 5, which ous embassies around the city. Also, an artist from
                                                      celebrated German culture and the 20th anniversary German porcelain company Meissen demonstrated
                                                      of the fall of Berlin’s former symbol of oppression.           hand-painting techniques on dinner plates, and a
                                                      The Opera Ball is held at a different ambassador’s             marzipan artist painted tiny almond-paste carrots,
                                                      residence each year and celebrates the culture of              mushrooms, and cherries.
                                                      their home country. The colorful, graffiti-covered wall              Marzipan was just one of the sugar-high induc-
                                                      fit in surprisingly well at the modern residence of             ing treats, as caterers Design Cuisine transformed
                                                      this year’s host, German ambassador                                           two rooms into lounges filled with
                                                      Klaus Scharioth.                              Washington National             German chocolates and truffles, and
A 14-foot-long ice                                         Decor at the 500-guest event             Opera Ball                      even a chocolate tree. Patty Cakes made
sculpture topped                                      included sleek black couches, acrylic         Audio Entertainment             centerpiece cakes decorated to resem-

                                                                                                                                                                                   PHOTOS: TONY BROWN/IMIJINATION PHOTOGRAPHY FOR BIZBASH
with ice cande-                                       chairs, and graffiti-covered cubes              Sound Production               ble the ambassador’s residence, the
labra displayed a                                                                                   Bar Decor Capital Decor
                                                      for food displays. “We’re using fewer                                         Berlin Opera House, and the Berlin Wall.
                                                                                                     and Events
seafood buffet in                                     flowers and getting the biggest bang           Cakes Patty Cakes               For something more savory, Design
the dining room.                                      for our buck in different and unique          Catering Design Cuisine         Cuisine created a 14-foot-long ice
                                                      ways,” said the opera company’s                Caterers                       sculpture that held an array of German
                                                                                                    Lighting Frost Lighting--
                     A 12- by 34-foot replica         special events director, Patti                                                seafood, including smoked trout, eel,
                                                                                                     Washington DC
                     of the Berlin Wall               Humphrey, who worked with Sandi               Pianist Glenn Pearson           mackerel, and salmon.
                     comemorated its fall.            Hoffman of Sandi R. Hoffman Special            Productions                         Downstairs in the dimly lit Berlin Bar,
                                                      Events to plan, design, and execute           Production Sandi R.             German chanteuse Ute Lemper vamped
                                                                                                     Hoffman LLC Special
                                                      the ball. In a cost-effective move,                                           it up with a red feather boa and cabaret
                                                      Humphrey took advantage of the resi-          Rentals DC Rental, Room         classics that name-dropped Washington
                                                      dence’s highlights, like a grand piano         Service - Washington           power players. After Lemper’s set, guests
                                                      in a light-filled atrium and a terrace         Tenting HDO Productions         left with her CD, a Meissen mug, and
                                                                                                    Water Show Dancing
                                                      with a view of Washington’s skyline.                                          one last German treat: a bag of gummy
                                                                                                     Waters Entertainment
                                                           Outside, the reflecting pool                                              bears. —Adele Chapin
                                                                                                                               the July 24 tour date,

                                                                  Warped                                                       was housed within
                                                                                                                               two side-by-side
                                                                                                                               15-foot-square tents

                                                                  Imagination                                                  emblazoned with the
                                                                                                                               Kia logo. Outside the
                                                                                                                               tents, the Soul was
                                                                                                                               on display with two
                                                                  At the Orlando stop of the Vans Warped                       other Kia vehicles.
                                                                  Tour, Kia Motors engaged concertgoers                                                   Three of Kia’s
                                                                                                                               Inside the tent, the
                                                                                                                                                          newest car
                                                                  with an interactive branding promotion.                      focal point of the
                                                                                                                                                          models were
                                                                                                                               promotion was a cur-
                                                                                                                                                          on display
                                                                                   To promote its new Kia Soul, a customi- tained booth where             outside the
                                                                   ORLANDO zable car geared at younger drivers, Kia fans could record a
                                                                                                                                                          “Bare Your
                                                                  Motors teamed up with the Vans Warped Tour, a 47-            video message and
                                                                                                                                                          Soul” tents.
                                                                  city festival of rock bands and extreme sports, in an        “bare their soul.” The
                                                                  effort to engage young concertgoers with an interac- videos were then uploaded to a dedicated Web site
                                                                  tive brand experience dubbed “Bare Your Soul.”               where they could be viewed by entering an access

                                                                       The company conceived an on-                                            code given to participants.
                                                                  site event that would feel less like a        Kia Motors’ “Bare                   The individual nature of the
                                                                  promotion than a natural part of the          Your Soul” at the Vans         promotion was designed to match
                                                                  fast-paced, all-day event. “Our experi-       Warped Tour                    the Warped Tour’s indie punk rock            Fans also got the
                                                                  ential events are designed to deliver                                        aesthetic and the concept behind the         chance to meet
                                                                                                                Audiovisual Production,
                                                                  the Kia brand and product messages to          Staging, Staffing Ignition     car, which offers multiple ways for          Warped Tour
                                                                  consumers where they play,” said Kia           Inc.                          consumers to design their own take           bands such as the
                                                                  Motors America’s manager of sponsor-          Creative Production David      on the vehicle.                              White Tie Affair.
                                                                                                                 & Goliath LLC
                                                                  ship and promotions, Kathryn Cima,            Media Operations and
                                                                                                                                                    While waiting in line, participants
                                                                  who oversaw production of the event.           Promotions Innocean           could get an airbrushed tattoo in their     to interact with fans.
                                                                  “We find consumers are more receptive           Worldwide                     choice of six templated designs (each            To execute the promotion at each tour stop, Kia
                                                                  to messaging when they are in their           Media Planning and             featuring the Kia or Soul logo) and         maintains a touring staff of six who each handle
                                                                                                                 Buying Initiative                                                         specific tasks within the Kia tent—M.C./host, blog-
                                                                  environment, and our messaging is             PR Zeno Group USA
                                                                                                                                               they were rewarded for participating
                                                                  more genuine because we’re support-           Program Management             with a special wristband that gave          ger, airbrush tattoo artist. The company expected
                                                                  ing something that they support.”              Silent Partner Media LLC      them access to Kia’s elevated (and          more than 1,500 people to enter the Kia tent at the
                                                                       The Kia promotion, which came            Venue Central Florida          shaded) V.I.P. riser in front of the main   Orlando stop and at least 109,000 people nationwide
                                                                                                                 Fairgrounds                                                               over the duration of the tour. —Matthew Porter
                                                                  to the Central Florida Fairgrounds for                                       stage. Bands also stopped by the tent

                                                                                                                                                                                         company Van Wyck & Van Wyck. Some 300 guests,

                                                                                                                               London Calling
                                                                                          Large light boxes showing
                                                                                                                                                                                         including Orlando Bloom, Hugh Dancy, Lily Donald-
                                                                                          photographs of the Burberry
                                                                                                                                                                                         son, and Blake Lively, braved the gusts and drizzle on
                                                                                          sign acted as a backdrop for
                                                                                                                                                                                         the penthouse terrace to witness the light show on
                                                                                          the arrivals area.
                                                                                                                                                                                         the exterior of the Burberry building across the street.
                                                                                                                             On a rainy night that evoked its British                         Some last-minute adjustments protected most
                                                                                                                             origins, Burberry hosted a party to light                   of the custom elements from damage. A black carpet
                                                                                                                             three 50-foot-long signs atop its new                       was installed on the Madison Avenue sidewalk to pre-
                                                                                                                             U.S. headquarters on Madison Avenue.                        vent the white arrivals carpet from being muddied.
                                                                                                                                                                                              Enormous light boxes lining the hotel courtyard
                                                                                                                                              When faced with a forecast of              each displayed photographs of a letter in the brand
                                                                                                                              NEW YORK thunderstorms and dreary weather, name, which illustrated the manufacturing and in-
                                                                                                                             a host can be forgiven for moving an event indoors          stallation process of the new Madison Avenue sign.
                                                                                                                             to keep guests dry. But on May 28,                                        Inside two conjoined penthouses, a col-
                                                                                                                             when rain clouds and humidity sent        Burberry’s Launch of            lage on the walls and plasma screens
                                                                                                                             most people scurrying inside, Burberry    Its U.S. Headquarters           played time-lapse videos showcasing
                                                                                                                                            forged ahead with an                                       the construction of the oversize logo. To
                                                                                             Hidden atop Burberry’s Madison Avenue                                     Audiovisual Production
                                                                                                                                                                                                       add English accents to the event, Brit-
                                                                                                                                            outdoor event atop
                                                                                             headquarters, 30 double-barreled                                           Total Entertainment
                                                                                                                                            the New York Palace        Design, Production, Project     ish TV presenter Alexa Chung served as
                                                                                             cannons blasted water-soluble confetti                                                                    the DJ, Yorkshire indie rock band One
                                                                                                                                            Hotel to celebrate the      Management Van Wyck &
                                                                                             to herald the lighting of the new signs.                                   Van Wyck                       Night Only performed, and the hotel
                                                                                                                                            opening of its new U.S.
                                                                                                                                                                       Lighting Design Unlimited
                                                                                                                                            headquarters and the                                       dished up shepherd’s pie, bangers and
                                                                                                                                                                        Visibility Lighting Design
                                                                                                                                            illumination of three       (UVLD)                         mash, and Pimm’s.
                                                                                                                                            50-foot-long signs.        Model Staffing Bite                   Despite the gloomy weather, the
                                                                                                                                                 Overseeing the        Rentals Miller’s Skytracker     spectacle went as planned. The band
                                                                                                                                                                        and Premiere Rental
                                                                                                                                            affair was Elena                                           played and led the countdown, Vari-lite
                                                                                                                                            Sapienza, the British      Technical Coordination,         and Syncrolite systems set up on three
                                                                                                                                            brand’s director of         Lighting, Sound                different buildings produced a light
                                                                                                                                            special events, who         Production Glue L.L.C.         show, and when the switch was flipped,
                                                                                                                                                                       Venue, Catering New York
                                                                                                                                            worked closely with                                        30 double-barreled cannons blasted
                                                                                                                                                                        Palace Hotel & Towers
                                                                                                                                            design and production                                      confetti. —Anna Sekula

                                                                                                                                                                                                            bizbash.com fall 2009 29
                                                                                                                                   Glowing rectangular tables
                                                                                                                                   lit in purple and pink
                                                                                                                                   and topped with roses
                                                                                                                                   decorated the areas in
                                                                                                                                   between the dining rooms.
The Kennedy Center’s upper-level
dining rooms included a mix of
rectangular and round tables and a
variety of floral centerpieces.

                                                                 red velvet
                                                                 cupcakes,              After dinner, the Kennedy
                                                                 macaroons,             Center’s team removed the
                                                                 and strawberry         tables from the South Foyer,
                                                                 shortcakes for         adding leather couches and
                                                                 the dessert bar.       a dessert bar.

                                                         prices starting at $1,000 and tables ranging from            Obama, who watched the show from the president’s

Silver Plated                                            $10,000 to $50,000.
                                                              A sleek look in a silver palette marked the
                                                         evening’s decor, with bursts of color from spring
                                                                                                                      box and received shout-outs from the evening’s
                                                                                                                      performers, including composer Joan Tower and
                                                                                                                      Lily Tomlin, who called Obama an “iconic wonder
For its gala celebrating women in the                    flowers in bright pinks and purples. In the three             woman.”
                                                         dining rooms on the center’s upper level, bright floral            After watching the evening’s performances,
arts, the Kennedy Center transformed
                                                         arrangements and sheer fabric columns, each illumi- including a hoarse but stirring rendition of
two levels with sleek silver-toned decor,                nated in purple, were the focal points.                      “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Patti LaBelle,
spring flowers, and swirling projections.                      “Because our space is so unadorned it allows            guests traveled back upstairs to the Roof Terrace
                                                         us to make it what we want it to be. We treat it as a        Restaurant for the after-party. During the perfor-
                    More than 1,100 guests gathered      black box space,” said Leslie Miller, director of special mance, the Kennedy Center’s team removed dinner
WASHINGTON          on May 3 to celebrate women in       events, who leans on her cowork-                                            tables from the South Foyer, adding
the arts at the Kennedy Center spring gala, which        ers to help produce the gala. “We’re         Kennedy Center’s               leather couches and a dessert bar
drew a mix of artists from across genres, including      really lucky. Every department of the        Spring Gala                    decked with red velvet cupcakes,
photographer Annie Leibovitz, country singer LeAnn       Kennedy Center plays a role in the           Audiovisual Production,
                                                                                                                                     macaroons, and strawberry short-
Rimes, jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves, violinist Midori,    event, so I have fantastic support.”           Lighting, Venue John F.      cakes. Guests could hit the dance
Broadway legend Chita Rivera, and singer K.D. Lang.           After the dinner of crab salad and        Kennedy Center for the       floor to music from the band Sound
     To fete these stars, the Kennedy Center threw a     seared organic chicken breast, guests          Performing Arts              Connection, have a drink on the rooftop
                                                                                                                                                                               PHOTOS: JOSEPH ALLEN

                                                                                                      Catering Restaurant
three-part party, starting with a cocktail reception     walked downstairs to the concert hall          Associates
                                                                                                                                     terrace despite the misty weather, or
in the grand foyer at 5 p.m., followed by a sit-down     to watch the evening’s showcased             Flowers Exquisite Design       head home with their gift bags, which
dinner and performance, with dancing and dessert         artists. The crowd buzzed about Paris          Studio                       included a silver picture frame donated
afterward at the ’Til Midnight Party. The event raised   Hilton’s appearance at dinner, but           Rentals DC Rental, Party       by premier sponsor Boeing.
                                                                                                        Rental Ltd.
$2.4 million (nearly equal to last year) with ticket     the real guest of honor was Michelle                                        —Adele Chapin

30 bizbash.com fall 2009
                                                                                                                               Host and cookbook
                                                                                                                               author Trish Magwood
                                                                                                                               demonstrated how
                                                                                                                               Anytime Gourmet is
                                              Jack Lucky                                                                       prepared and served.
                                              topped tables
                                              in CulinAerie’s
                                              kitchen studios
                                              with purple
                                              calla lilies, sweet
                                              pea, stock, and

                                                                                                                        Dessert was a mocha brownie
                                                                                                                        and frozen lemon soufflé from
                                                                                                                        Magwood’s new cookbook.

                                                                                                        to try it is our biggest challenge.” He added that

                                             Out of the Box                                             Nestlé chose Washington for the exclusive launch
                                                                                                        “because this area represents our target audience of
                                                                                                        high-dual-income consumers.”
                                             To introduce its line of gourmet dinners                        The event began at 6 p.m. with a wine reception
                                                                                                        where the dozen journalists and their guests min-
                                             to the press, Nestlé U.S.A. partnered                      gled near a product display. The program started 30
                                             with a downtown cooking school.                            minutes later, and everyone took their seats at stain-
                                                                                                        less steel tables set with a metal baking tray, cutting
                                                                 On June 1 at the CulinAerie cook- board, and spatula. James Beard award winning
                                              WASHINGTON ing studio, shades of purple domi- cookbook author and event host Trish Magwood
                                             nated Nestlé U.S.A.’s media launch of its new line of gave a demonstration on the product preparation
                                             upscale frozen dinners, dubbed Anytime Gour-               while CulinAerie staffers delivered sample plates of
                                             met, a division of the company’s Stouffer’s brand.         the entrées to each table. Soon after, guests prepared

                                             Anytime’s staff used the color broadly in signage,         and cooked their own entrée of wild salmon in puff
                                             linens, aprons, and the media kit, in addition to the pastry and moved from the work stations to a com-
                                             arrangements of purple flowers designed by Jack H. munal dining table for a final tasting.
                                             Lucky Floral Design.                                            During a brief question-and-answer session, serv-
                                                 The company’s color choice was                                           ers delivered dessert, a frozen lemon
                                             intended to send a message. “With           Nestlé U.S.A.’s                  soufflé and a mocha brownie, made
                                             the research we did, this color gives a     Anytime Gourmet                  with recipes from Magwood’s new
                                             premium vibe,” said Nestlé marketing        Product Launch                   cookbook, Dish Entertains. The evening
                                             associate Kevin Holmes, who greeted         Flowers Jack H. Lucky Floral     ended at 8:30 p.m., when each partici-
                                             guests at the door. “And with the econ-      Design                          pant received a copy of the cookbook
                                                                                         PR Publicis U.S.A.
                                             omy as it is and the price point of the                                      and a bottle of red wine, tied with a
                                                                                         Venue CulinAerie
                                             product from $9 to $15, getting people                                       purple ribbon. —Walter Nicholls
                                                                                                                                                                                                   said Angel City Designs’ Mark Yumkas, whose team

                                                                                                                                      A Grand                                                      decorated the tank. “Baron Cohen wanted to come
                                                                                                                                                                                                   down Hollywood Boulevard sitting on a tank covered
                                                                                                                                                                                                   in rhinestones. As availability was limited for 1,500

                                                                                                                                      Entrance                                                     square feet of sheeted rhinestones, [Angel City
                                                                                                                                                                                                   Designs partner and senior art director] Damon
                                                                                                                                                                                                   Drescher suggested mirror ball glass tiles. With only
                                                                                                                                                                                                   36 hours before the tank needed to be delivered to
                                                                                                                                      A surprise stunt planned just days before                    the site, the vehicle was dropped off, painted silver,
                                                                                                                                      the event opened the Brüno premiere.                         and completely covered in glass mirrored tiles.” ELS
                                                                                                                                                                                                   rented the tank from Army Trucks Inc., which trans-
                                                                                                                                                          Since the downturn, many events ported it discreetly with a cover. (The tank had rubber
                                                                                                                                        LOS ANGELES have kept a low profile for percep- treads so it was street legal.)
                                                                                                                                      tion’s sake. The premiere of Universal Pictures’ Brüno            Following the screening, guests moved upstairs
                                                                                                                                      on June 25, overseen by the studio’s senior vice presi- to the Annex at Hollywood & Highland complex for
                                                                                                                                      dent of special projects, Hollace Davids,                                    a party done primarily in white for a
                                                                                                                                      was not one of them.                         Universal Pictures’             kitschy twist on a high-fashion look.
                                                                                                                                          Brüno’s star, Sacha Baron Cohen,         Brüno Premiere                  —Alesandra Dubin
                                                                                                                                      who plays a flamboyant gay Austrian           Arrivals, Permitting, Party
                                                                                                                                      fashion reporter, arrived at the              Technical Production,            Fashion photos of Brüno’s title
                                                                                                                                                                                    Lighting, Sound
                                                                                                                                      premiere by way of a tricked-out              Entertainment Lighting
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     character lined the walls at the party.
                                                                                                                                      tank—which was hidden in a tent on            Services (ELS)
                                                                                                                                      Hollywood Boulevard until the big            Catering Wolfgang Puck
                                                                                                                                      reveal moments before the screening           Catering
                                                                                                                                                                                   Decor, Tank Design Angel
                                                                                                                                      began at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.           City Designs
                                                                                                                                      ELS handled street closures and              Party Flowers C.J.
                                                                                                                                      permitting, logo signage and carpeting        Matsumoto & Sons
                                                                                                                                      in an interlocking B pattern, stanchions Party Venue Hollywood &
                                                                                                                                                                                    Highland Center
                                                                                                                                      and ropes, staging and bleachers for         Rentals Classic Party Rentals
                                                                                                                                      fans, crowd control, and media arrivals      Screening Venue Grauman’s
                                                                                                               Sacha Baron            lighting.                                     Chinese Theatre
                                                                                                               Cohen arrived              “On Monday [before the Thursday          Security Special Event
                                                                                                               at the Brüno                                                         Management (SEM)
                                                                                                                                      premiere] we received a phone call           Tank Army Trucks Inc.
                                                                                                               premiere on a          from Hollace Davids at Universal             Traffic Control American
                                                                                                               mirrored tank.         regarding staging a red carpet stunt,”        Barricade

                                                                                                                                             The promotion kicked off

                                                                          Ring-a-Ding                                                   on June 23 with a cord-cutting
                                                                                                                                        by D.C. delegate Eleanor Holmes
                                                                                                                                        Norton, who called a local youth
                                                                          To launch its wireless service in the D.C.                    center. A half an hour later, the
                                                                                                                                        first of 50 to 60 people per
                                                                          area, Cricket teamed up with Samsung
                                                                                                                                        day began making their own
                                                                          to offer a giant phone, interactive                           calls and afterward stepped
                                                                          exhibits, and plenty of giveaways.                            inside the modified shipping
                                                                                                                                        container, where they found a
                                                                                              On June 25 at noon, with the
                                                                           WASHINGTON temperature hovering in the low photo booth, gaming stations,
                                                                                                                                        an informational kiosk, and
                                                                          90s, the sight of a freshly chiseled six-foot-tall ice        branded giveaways such as fans,
                                                                          sculpture in the shape of a K (for the capital K in the

                                                                                                                                        T-shirts, Frisbees, sunglasses, bag
                                                                          Cricket logo) drew the attention of some who passed clips, and lip gloss. After exiting
                                                                          by the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. Nearby, a the exhibit, visitors could enter              Cricket’s outdoor display
                                                                          man passed out green snow cones. But for the lunch- a karaoke and video booth and                      included a 15- by 30-foot
                                                                          time crowd, the center of attention was the 15- by            send the results to friends online. working cell phone and
                                                                          30-foot working cell phone mounted on the side of                  The Cricket marketing               indoor interactive exhibits.
                                                                          two stacked black shipping containers branded with team looked at sites in Adams
                                                                          Cricket and Samsung logos.                                    Morgan, Chinatown, and on the National Mall                     Guests called friends and family on what
                                                                              For five days, wireless provider                                                 before choosing the grounds of            Cricket dubbed “the world’s largest cell phone.”
                                                                          Cricket teamed up with Samsung                     Cricket and Samsung              the Historical Society. “At the end
                                                                          Telecommunications America to tout the             Mobile’s Marketing               of the day, it’s all about the spot,
                                                                          launch of Cricket service in the Washington Stunt                                   and we got a lot of eyeballs,” said
                                                                          area by bringing to town what was dubbed Catering Talk of the Town                  Cricket marketing manager Matt
                                                                          “the world’s largest cell phone.” The walk-         Variety Entertainment           Andrews. “I wanted a place easily
                                                                                                                             Ice Carving Ice Sculptures
                                                                          through promotional kiosk and giant                                                 accessible and near our core audi-
                                                                          phone, which first appeared in March in             Publicity Ogilvy Public          ence, the people who work and
                                                                          Chicago, represented a $1 million invest-           Relations                       live here. If we dropped on the
                                                                          ment in development and fabrication by             Venue Historical Society of      Mall, all we would get is tourists.”
                                                                                                                              Washington, D.C.
                                                                          the two companies.                                                                  —Walter Nicholls
                                                                                                                        The west wing went modern, evoking
                                                                                                                        an Asian club scene with moving pink
                                                                                                                        gobos on the walls and a large ball
                                                                                                                        hanging from the ceiling.

                                                                                                                                                White goldfish
                                                                                         The east wing                                          cutouts hung in
                                                                                         of the National                                        the courtyard,
                                                                                         Building Museum                                        channeling a Zen
                                                                                         focused on                                             garden pond.
                                                                                         industrial China,
                                                                                         with red banners
                                                                                         and linens, golden
                                                                                         lion statues,
                                                                                         and posters
                                                                                         referencing Maoist

                                                                                                           and gold drapery was paired with white goldfish-

                                                Best Bites                                                 shaped cutouts. The east wing focused on industrial
                                                                                                           China, with red tabletops, golden lion statues, and
                                                                                                           Maoist propaganda posters. The west wing evoked an
                                                Washingtonian celebrated its “Best                         Asian club scene with white drapery and pink uplight-
                                                                                                           ing. Staff from sponsor Verizon wore kabuki makeup
                                                of Washington” issue with an Asian-
                                                                                                           and carried trays displaying phones for guests to test.
                                                themed party, where a crowd of 1,500                            In the publisher’s lounge on the mezzanine,
                                                sampled some of D.C.’s honored food.                       Occasions Caterers served rock lobster potstick-
                                                                                                           ers and tuna tartare in crispy cones from trays
                                                                    Last year, Washingtonian revived       with sponsor FedEx’s
                                                WASHINGTON          its “Best of Washington” party         logo. Downstairs, the         Washingtonian Best of
                                                after a four-year hiatus. For this year’s edition, held    crowd sampled bites           2009 Event
                                                July 15 at the National Building Museum, Jennifer          from Rasika, Art and          Audiovisual Production
                                                Haber, the magazine’s director of marketing and            Soul, Vermillion, and          Event EQ
                                                special events, decided to go even bigger, inviting        Brasserie Beck.               Calligraphy Bertrand Mao
                                                                                                                                         Catering Occasions
                                                representatives from almost 70 restaurants, bars,               Entertainment

                                                and shops (up from last year’s 50) to entertain the        included origami demos        Chinese Dragon Dancers
                                                crowd of 1,500 (up from 1,200).                            by Happi Enterprises           Wong People
                                                     Guests got a taste of the district’s most cele-       and a Chinese dragon          Flowers Volanni
                                                                                                                                         Lighting Frost Lighting
                                                brated eats, with food from PS 7’s, Bourbon Steak, and     dance by Wong People          Origami Happi Enterprises
                                                Central Michel Richard. To help control the flow, Haber     kung fu association.          Poi Hoop Dancers
                                                offered two ticket levels, one of which granted guests          The food began to         Contradiction Dance
                                                access an hour earlier “From a logistics standpoint, it    run out around 9 p.m.         Production Hargrove Inc.
                                                                                                                                         Rentals Perfect Settings
                                                helps stagger the crowd so you don’t have everyone         (as scheduled), but            L.L.C., Room Service
                                                arriving at the same time,” said Haber.                    many guests lingered at       Transportation Marc Parc
                                                     Haber worked with Hargrove Inc. to decorate the       the open bar until the         Valet Inc.
                                                space with Chinese and Japanese accents, inspired by       event ended at 10 p.m.        Venue National Building
                                                her recent trip to Asia. In the center courtyard, orange   —Danielle O’Steen
                                                                       The evening kicked off

     School Bands                                                 at 6:30 p.m. with cock-
                                                                  tails, heavy passed hors
                                                                  d’oeuvres, and carving
     At its annual School Night fund-raiser, Fight and risotto stations in the
                                                                  atrium, where the Saints, a       School Night
     for Children retained its reputation for                     jazz ensemble of six 12- to       M.C. Patti
     an evening packed with entertainment.                        16-year-olds from the Sitar       Austin sang
                                                                  Arts School, performed.           an impromptu
                         At a time when fund-raising is           At 8:10 p.m. the Calvin           rendition of
      WASHINGTON no easy task, on May 15 Fight for                Coolidge High School              her song “Baby
     Children swiftly generated $1 million for D.C. schools at drum line gave a rousing             Come to Me,”
     the nonprofit’s ninth annual School Night. Held at the 15-minute performance.                                             Wyclef Jean
                                                                                                    while Mini
     Ronald Reagan Building (a departure from last year’s         Prior to the big-name acts,                                 performed for
                                                                                                    Shock danced
     event at the convention center ), the event garnered         the 14-person dance troupe                                  45 minutes.
                                                                                                    around her.
     more than 700 attendees, largely because of the              Mini Shock took to the floor
     evening’s jam-packed talent roster, which included           with a routine that included back flips. Next up was
     Wyclef Jean and Sheila E. and the E. Family Project.         Naturally 7, an a cappella group.
          Fight for Children board member (and Grammy-                 After a brief intermission, Sheila E. and the E.
     winning artist) Patti Austin was the event’s M.C.,           Family Project took to the Atrium’s main stage,
     while also reeling in the aforemen-                                          performing Latin numbers on bongos
     tioned talent and overseeing produc-         Fight for Children’s            for nearly half an hour. After a quick
     tion alongside the organization’s            School Night Gala               set change (during which a DJ spun
     marketing and event manager, Kristen         Catering, Venue Ronald          house tunes), Wyclef came out,
     Fagley. The evening won points for             Reagan Building &             regaling the audience for another 45
     high energy, especially given Fagley’s         International Trade Center    minutes.                                    Mayor Adrian Fenty, an
     decision to eschew a sit-down dinner         Decor, Staging                       School Night is no stranger to         honorary co-chair, received
                                                    Hargrove Inc.                                                             a shout out from one of
     in favor of nonstop performances. “We        Flowers Toulies en Fleur        big-name entertainers—last year John
     actually did things a lot differently this     Floral Design                 Legend headlined, and past perform-         the evening’s headliners,
     year. We held a luncheon a month prior       Furniture Rental Room           ers have included Lionel Richie and         Sheila E.
     to School Night, where we gave out our         Service - Washington          John Mellencamp. Austin’s street cred
                                                  Lighting Atmosphere Inc.
     annual awards,” said Fagley. “So School      Sound Maryland Sound            certainly helped lure this year’s lineup,
     Night was more a celebration of the            International                 as did board member Michelle Fenty,
     achievements of the winners. It was          Video Production, Video         mayor Adrian Fenty’s wife.
     more of a party.”                              Projection Blue Sky Films      —Courtney Thompson

                                                                                                                            and they get the opportunity to play on the same

                                                                 Play Ball                                                  field as their baseball heroes,” said Israel Negron, the
                                                                                                                            team’s director of community relations. “It is always a

                                                                                                                                                                                      PHOTOS: JACK HARTZMAN (FIGHT FOR CHILDREN), TONY BROWN/IMIJINATION PHOTOGRAPHY FOR BIZBASH (NATIONALS)
                                                                                                                            pleasure to see the kids’ faces light up when they sit
                                                                                                                            in the Nats dugout next to [Nationals bench coach]
                                                                More than a hundred children received
                                                                                                                            Pat Corrales and dream that they will one day play for
                                                                lessons from Washington Nationals                           the Nats.”
                                                                coaches and players at a Smithfield-                              Negron said the most challenging part of plan-
                                                                sponsored youth baseball clinic.                            ning the event is selecting who will participate. “We
                                                                                                                            would like for every child who wants to participate
                                                                                    The Washington Nationals and            to be able to do so, but we just do not have enough
                                                                 WASHINGTON title sponsor Smithfield hosted                  time and space. We work with some great community
Shortstop and second baseman                                    their fifth youth baseball clinic of the year on August leaders to invite as many kids from the D.C. region as
Alberto Gonzalez autographed                                    23 at Nationals Park, with approximately 120 children possible, but there is always a wait list.”
baseballs and cards during lunch.                               taking to the field for hitting, fielding, and pitching            The team has been running the free clinics
                                                                pointers from Nats players and coaches.                     since the Nationals returned to Washington in 2005.
                                                                                             The event served as part       Smithfield joined on as the event’s title sponsor in
                                                    Nationals first base coach
                                                                                        of the Nationals’ outreach          2008, providing each student with a co-branded
                                                    Marquis Grissom worked with
                                                                                        to young fans, and to invite        Nationals and Smithfield Foods equipment bag, as
                                                    the children on fielding skills.
                                                                                        children to the clinics, the        well as a hot dog lunch in the Nats Family Picnic Area
                                                                                        team works with D.C. area           after the clinic. During the lunch, Nationals infielder
                                                                                        Little Leagues, schools, and        Alberto Gonzalez was on hand to pose for pictures and
                                                                                        youth groups. “The                                      sign autographs.
                                                                                        kids get a chance         Washington Nationals              The children also got the
                                                                                        to become better          Youth Baseball                chance to see Nationals players in
                                                                                        baseball players          Clinic, Presented by          action: Every student in the clinic
                                                                                        because they learn        Smithfield                     received two free tickets to the
                                                                                        from some of the          Catering Levy Restaurants     Nats game versus the Milwaukee
                                                                                        best teachers in the       at Nationals Park            Brewers later that evening.
                                                                                                                  Venue Nationals Park
                                                                                        game, our coaches,                                      —Adele Chapin

     34 bizbash.com september/october 2009
                                                                                              ESPN designed

                             Spell Bound                                                  the stage set and,
                                                                                          with ABC, held
                                                                                          exclusive live cover-
                                                                                          age rights for the
                             For its 82nd annual National Spelling
                                                                                          finals on Thursday.
                             Bee, E.W. Scripps again went with                            Also part of the set
                             Hargrove to fashion a shrinking stage                        this year were two
                             and handle security for weepy students.                      9- by 12-foot rear
                                                                                          projection screens
                                                 On May 29, the Cincinnati-based          flanking each side
                              WASHINGTON E.W. Scripps Company wrapped-                    of the stage. As
                             up its 82nd annual Scripps National Spelling Bee,            each contestant
                             which returned to the Independence ballroom of the approached the
                             Grand Hyatt Washington. This year’s bee—the larg-            microphone, tech-
                             est ever—brought together 293 regional spelling bee nicians projected
                             champions and their sponsors for five days.                   his or her image,      Hargrove reduced
                                 Continuing a 16-year tradition, Hargrove once            name, age, grade,      the size of the
                             again fabricated and installed the red and blue, 36-         and sponsor’s          stage each day
                             by 64-foot stage and columned side stage panels. As name on the                     after eliminations.
                             the number of participants dwindled throughout the screen.                                                   Kavya Shivashankar
                             competition, Hargrove reduced the size of the stage              In addition to the competition’s prelimi-   of Olathe, Kansas, was
                             accordingly.                                                 nary, semifinal, and final rounds, activities     this year’s winner.
                                 Security for the students, who may be in unfa-           included a barbecue for 950 students and
                             miliar territory on a large stage, was squarely on the       their families at the Pavilions of Turkey Run
                             minds of both Scripps and Hargrove. “Sometimes               in McLean on May 25 and an annual closing
                             when they spell a word wrong they start                                      awards banquet and party at
                             crying, get upset, and they run off the       Scripps National               the Grand Hyatt on May 29.

                             stage,” said Cynthia Hargrove, who has        Spelling Bee                        This year’s winner
                             worked on the event for 16 years. “We         Audiovisual Production         was 13-year-old Kavya
                             have railings in place and a handicap          ESPN Zone—WDC                 Shivashankar of Olathe,
                             ramp so they don’t go down the stairs         Decor, Event Fabrification,     Kansas, who took home
                                                                            Signage, Staging
                             or the wrong way.” A small, private area                                     $40,000 in cash and prizes.
                                                                            Hargrove Inc.
                             was created behind the stage for Scripps Rentals, Venue Grand                Her winning word: laodicean.
                             staff members to console students.             Hyatt Washington              —Walter Nicholls

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