Friday, April 20, 2012

Event Rundown - AOL & Verizon Half Day Summit

Hey Rockstars!  Suzie here, eventsMANAGER for jesgordon/properFUN.  The JG Team wanted to give you an inside look into one of our recent events—an AOL sponsored Verizon Half-Day Summit.  AOL hosted the Verizon team to educate them about some exciting digital innovations and asked us to create décor to brand the space and give the Summit that layer of elegance that we like to add to every event we produce.

We took some of the event questions we are commonly asked and answered them here specifically for this event.

How did you hear about this event and how did it all come about?
We received an email late one night and a scheduled a call for the next day to learn about event details.  The initial information we like to collect includes: event time, venue (location), aesthetic style (modern, traditional, eclectic, etc), any color schemes that the client may have in mind, and any extra elements (special displays, vinyl, etc).  I then made sure that this event was on the entire team’s radar, we only had a 3 day turn around to get the information, brainstorm ideas, create a proposal complete with images, gain approval from the client, purchase materials and hire additional staff.  We scheduled a time to tour the venue and meet our client (we were able to do this less than 24 hours after the initial email).

For the next few questions, Christine, our designDIRECTOR, will guide you through décor questions and anxieties.   

Can you describe the process to get this job designed, proposed, approved, installed, and broken down?
When I received notice from Suzie that we were going to be working on a branding event, I immediately pre-notified our printing vendor because vinyl is a great tool to brand an event.  Next, I started work on our proposal.  Proposals are often a team effort: once my first draft is complete, I review the proposal with each team member to make sure that we are all on the same page and that we have incorporated everything that the client needs.  Once the team was in agreement, I sent the proposal to our client, anxiously awaited her approval, and then immediately placed our printing order.  Arthur, our productionDIRECTOR, hired delivery and freelance employees for load-in, set-up, and breakdown.  Once Arthur confirmed all of the staffing needs, we created a comprehensive list of everyone that would work the event, their arrival time, and responsibilities.

How did you brand the space most effectively?  
During the walkthrough we followed the path that guests would take and decided on the best surfaces for branding. We chose glass doors off the elevators, a white wall behind the check in table, and a white banquette that had a clear view from the entryway.  The eye was naturally drawn to these focal points. We used two different types of vinyl for compensate for the different surfaces—gloss laminated vinyl with a clear back for the glass doors and the white banquette, and adhesive fabric vinyl for the white walls.  Gloss laminated vinyl with clear backing helps blend the logo with the existing surface.  Fabric vinyl is easy to re-adjust and never ruins existing surfaces.  We selected linens to match the Verizon logo and recommended that the logo appear on the existing TV monitors in the space.

What flowers did you use for this event?
I used Phaleonopsis Orchid blooms for the large focal point arrangements.  They worked with the colors in Verizon’s logo, are especially gorgeous, and there was a surplus of blooms available after Easter/Passover.  I like to buy flowers with the season because the blooms are at their peak, and these orchids were definitely in season!  

During the casual breakfast I chose Ginger blossoms in a clear vase with red Lucite “ice” for the highboy tables.  I liked how the naturally pointy blossoms complemented the shade of red and the “V” in the Verizon logo.

For the more formal luncheon tables, I chose to use a single White Calla Lilly accented with a wire orb.  The wire orb gave the arrangement a more techy, futuristic vibe that fit the essence of the event—innovation.

Another element that I took into account when creating these arrangements, was the limited load in time (starting at 6am yikes!).  In order to be prepared, I made the arrangements on Friday and had to choose arrangements that would hold up over the weekend.   Also, it is important to know your audience: I knew that these floral arrangements were for an event that would be attended primarily by men.  I focused the design to be more masculine, architectural, and modern with clean straight lines.

Were you able to stay consistent with the branding in the flower arrangements?
In addition to the leaves of the Ginger bloom, I hand made some plexi-glass lattice forms to add to the giant orchid sprays in our large arrangements.  These plexi-glass forms actually mimicked the “V” in Verizon.  We used colors in line with Verizon’s iconic logo for the arrangements and vases. 

How do you stay original with your floral design?
I'd like to think that all of my designs are original.  I have been inspired by so much creativity from so many other creative people. I am inspired by everyone, everyday, everywhere.  All ideas come from somewhere and I have to give credit to so many others for their creative inspiration.

Were there any challenges during the installation?
Of course!  This is New York City and there are always challenges when getting anything from one place to another.  At 6am in Monday morning, our delivery van was not allowed in the loading dock due to parking restrictions. So we had to load-in the entire job from the street.  And sadly, we lost our best push-cart while loading in :-( 

Was there anything that made this event stand out from other events?
With production, all jobs are different.  This is what keeps them exciting!   

As you can see, an event, from conception to creation, is a long chain reaction full of obstacles, solutions, organization, and creative flourishes J  Each event is a team effort and communication is KEY.  At jesGORDON we know that we can rely on each other for help, creative solutions, and as a check and balance system that organically occurs because all of our worlds overlap.  This post will be one of many “Event Rundowns” to come, and we hope that you enjoyed hearing about our event process! 

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