Each year, event industry specialists from across the globe compete for one of our 14 coveted Spotlight Awards. In 2014, we were flooded with entries from many talented individuals and companies who experienced stellar years in 2013.
As the awards season approaches once again, we want to introduce you to each of the nominees and finalists who were recognized as some of the best in the industry. This could be you by this time next year!
This week, we look at the Event Company of the Year award, which is presented to an event company that displays an outstanding ability to organize, manage, and execute events for all types of clients. This includes planning an event of high caliber, using creativity, and being innovative while planning within the clients budget. The nominees for this category were Something New, Blueprint Studios, Russell Harris, Azimut and Gavin Rajah Concept.
Something New Events has a large team of seasoned professionals, each bringing their unique experience and expertise to every event design. The team includes an in house visual artist, photographer, photo editor, graphic designers, floral artist, as well as a full team of carpenters, metal fabricators, and a painter. As a result, one of a kind installations are commonplace for Something New events, and over the years they have developed a vast inventory of rentable items, custom made fixtures, and one of a kind props.
Recently, Something New Events planned and executed a 'groovy' 60th birthday surprise. The design included walls, chandelier, and towers made of thousands of multicolored vinyl disks. The team also created a stainless steel pizza kitchen where chefs performed a drum show, banging on hanging pots and pans. The "kitchen" needed to function for actual cooking as well as an attractive serving station and backdrop for this unique entertainment element. A live feed video screen was used to coordinate a unison "Happy Birthday!" with all 480 guests. Onsite at the event, Something New Events team worked to organize the many entertainment acts that happened throughout the course of the evening from a flash mob, to a giant cake on wheels, flame throwing bar tenders, costumed stilt walkers, roller girls, a bicycle ice cream cart, 4 professional dance numbers, and two different bands, the entire evening unfolded without a flaw.
Blueprint Studios is a full-service event design, fabrication, and rental firm dedicated to creating exceptional special event environments with thoughtful detail and dedicated customer service. For over a decade, their team of designers, production craftsmen, and installation managers has established a reputation for providing cutting edge event decor, floral artistry, and stylish furnishings for both timeless and modern settings. Many of their events take advantage of their expansive collection of rental furnishings and accessories, which they personalize with custom fabrication, graphic design and printing.
In June 2013, Blueprint Studios produced an interactive American Frontier town for The Pebble Beach Corporate Executive Retreat. 400 sophisticated guests had their senses fully engaged in an authentic Wild West town which included a fully functional general store, saloon and sheriff's office. In the dining room, a rectangular distressed tin table spanned the length of the interior, creating a communal atmosphere. Wooden vases and glass vessels overflowing with sprays of mums, wildflowers and fresh sprigs of leaves accented the room, along with burlap, tin hurricane lamps, and an antler chandelier. After dinner, the guests attended an after-party, where the main lounge was furnished with rustic, repurposed wood tables and stools, low profile dark leather couches, quilted leather club chairs and wine barrels adorned with fresh-cactus and summer wildflower blossoms of varied heights and hues. Hand-crafted poker tables invited guests to mingle and try their luck at Texas hold-em and other games reminiscent of vices endemic to the land of Jesse James.
For over 20 years, Russell Harris and his team at Russell Harris Event Group have been designing and producing award-winning events, meetings and conferences, product launches and movie premieres. Russell and his team use a 3-D approach to event planning: Define the event by listening to client's priorities and goals; Design a custom, creative experience for guests; and Deliver a flawless and professional production, utilizing longstanding industry relationships to provide best value.
Russell Harris Event Group was tasked with designing the 2013 Emmy Awards After Party for FOX Television nominees and winners. They transformed a barren concrete patio area and interior space into a high-end sophisticated and modern environment for executives, network talent and special VIP guests. Outside, the team covered box trussing in wood, stained it and set it up overhead to create a "ceiling" and define the perimeter of the exterior addition. They also laid beige carpet throughout the entire area and used linen white covered birchwood pieces to fuse the two spaces together. Subflooring, beige carpeting and lounge groupings from stylized furnishings made from reclaimed woods, bleached birch and dye stamped burlap upholstery completed the space. Soft neutral shades of soft white, cream and beige contrasted with the existing dark wood and red brick interior. The result was a warm, sophisticated and residential feel.
Azimut is an experience-design company specializing in producing networking and team-building activities, as well as special entertainment productions. Being in charge of the touchpoints between people and brands, and creating vibrant ideas, emotions and memories is Azimut's everyday job.
Azimut recently worked with an international eyewear company that chose Sicily, Italy for its international annual convention. The creative team was tasked with planning a Dolce Vita, "Italian Sixties" themed gala dinner to celebrate the 20th anniversary of director Federico Fellini's death and make guests feel like stars. Guests were welcomed on a red carpet by eight paparazzi with complete period costumes and cameras and were surrounded by movie posters on wooden easels and vintage Vespa scooters. After all 600 guests had arrived and walked the carpet a special guest, a "diva" and man, appeared to dazzle the paparazzi and perform a dance number before leading the crowd to the dinner. In the dining room, four old-fashioned and strategically placed screens showed the "La Dolce Vita" logo and a jazz quartet with period costumes played. Two different photo stations were set-up for guests, complete with backdrops, lights, Vespa scooters and instant photo-printing. Finally, the master of ceremonies introduced an interactive quiz show where each of the over 50 tables received a multiple-choice wireless buzzer to interact with the questions showed on the screens in real time.
Gavin Rajah Concept
Gavin Rajah Concept specializes in unique experiences for social and corporate events ranging from 30 to 30,000 people. The company is unique in that it not only provides event production services, but also social digital marketing, public relations, creation of intellectual property, and a full audit of client expenditures alongside reports illustrating a return on investment for corporate clients.
In 2013, Emirates Palace approached Gavin Rajah Concept to overcome a dilemma they were facing: They were losing patrons to a nearby development that was attracting major concerts and guests, and their venue was getting the reputation of being inaccessible and conservative. In response, Gavin Rajah Concepts planned a New Years Eve concert and firework show to draw crowds. It took advantage of the hotel's existing resources including the manmade beach and world-class restaurants. The concert was a success with the Emirates Palace turning over in excess of 30% more revenue then they had the year before. Additionally, the hospitality packages were largely sold out due to a social media campaign that was planned in partnership with Time Out Abu Dhabi.
Are you having an amazing year? Now is a great time to begin reviewing your past and upcoming events for entry into the Spotlight Awards. We're making big changes to the rules this year to make the awards 100 percent merit based - no more people's choice voting! Stay tuned for more information on rules, categories and entry dates.