Best Off-Premises Catered Event
YPO-WPO Global Leadership Conference 2014
Extraordinary Events, Sherman Oaks, Calif., and Patina Restaurant Group, Los Angeles
To cater a reception for a high-power group of 3,200 corporate leaders from 120 countries, the catering team developed a range of gourmet dishes that met the demands of kosher, vegetarian, halal, and other diets. Servers donned color-coded T-shirts that displayed the name of the dish and what diet it was appropriate for; to keep food at its peak, 250 pieces of food came out of the kitchens every minute.
Best Catered Event Produced by a Hotel Banquet Department
Contemporary Art Museum Gala
Fairmont the Queen Elizabeth, Montreal
Challenged to create a menu that combined imagination with kitsch, the caterer dreamed up menu items, platings, and tabletop decor that matched light projections on the venue's walls. Dishes for the 625 guests included grilled shrimp served in pink plastic flamingo glasses set in patches of fake grass, roasted sea bream served in miniature pots accompanied by oven mitts, and cactus pear sherbet paired with a chocolate cowboy hat.
Best Fundraising Event
"Once Upon a Time"
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh
With only a shoestring budget, the in-house event team netted $757,000—nearly 50 percent above goal—by deft management of funds and event space. The 550 dinner guests dined in six different rooms in Heinz Hall, each themed to a classic fairy tale.
Best Event Produced for a Nonprofit Organization
The Daffodil Ball
Alison Silcoff Events, Montreal, Canada
The event team maximized revenue for this longstanding benefit for the Canadian Cancer Society with donated prizes worth $128,000, lavish guest gifts from premium sponsors, and strategic management of prominent business leaders spearheading fundraising. The 620 guests dined on crocodile and other exotic dishes at the "On the Wild Side" themed gala.
Best Multiple-Day Incentive Event
Designed to motivate and salute the 25 top-performing North American dealers for a major manufacturing company, this event was an unforgettable Irish experience. From the historic hotels to activities, cuisine, world-class entertainment, and hand-selected gifts, the program included golf at the famous K-Club; a visit to Ballyknocken Cookery School; a "So You Think You Know Your Drink" tour at the Old Jameson Distillery; Dublin’s famous "Food Trail"; and a cultural walking tour of off-the-beaten-track neighborhoods.
Best Multiple-Day Event Program for a Corporation or Association
Huawei C199 Launch and Cycling Tour
Phenomenon Marketing and Communications, Beijing
Set in the spectacular Qinghai Lake—China’s largest inland lake—Huawei launched the new C199 smartphone with a mobile truck trailer and an exciting “199 kilometer” bicycle adventure around the lake in three days. More than 200 high-spirited professional and amateur bikers participated, delivering the message of "dare to grow"—the slogan of Huawei’s Mai Mang line of mobile phones.
Best Achievement in Logistics
MGM New Year's Eve
MGM Resorts Event Productions, Las Vegas
The event team had a scant 14 hours to turn a ballroom set as a 14,000-seat rock arena into a fully decorated dinner venue for 1,800 high rollers, who rang in the New Year with a performance by the legendary Fleetwood Mac. The team removed bleachers and theater seating, reset the room into 180 decorated tables, did a band sound check and a light check, tested the video mapping, and decorated the foyer and lounge areas.
Best New, Innovative Event Product/Service
Event Show Productions, Tampa, Fla.
Developed in response to the changing expectations of audiences who have grown up in an age of rapidly advancing technology, "Tell-A-Vision" merges performance art and technology to create a moving storybook incorporating video screens with live performers. Because the video screens are wireless, they can move independently around the stage and can feature video, background scenery or props, and can be customized to suit various budgets by adjusting the number of screens per performance.
Best Event Entertainment Concept and Execution: Entertainment Budget Under $25,000
Marriott Association Masters 'Alice in Wonderland After-party
Hello Florida Destination Management, Orlando, Fla.
Tasked with creating a party for meeting planners, the event team put a new spin on the familiar Alice in Wonderland theme, creating exciting environments—from the rabbit hole to a chessboard dance floor—within the ballroom. Clever touches included "chess pieces" that danced with guests and the chance for guests to take "selfie" photos with talking flowers.
Best Event Entertainment Concept and Execution: Entertainment Budget $25,000 To $100,000
Joke Event, Bremen, Germany
A corporate merger brought 750 employees together for the first time in an event designed as a lively, open-air festival instead of a series of dull speeches. Attendees enjoyed music and shows on several stages; an internal social media channel promoted networking.
Best Event Entertainment Concept and Execution: Entertainment Budget Above $100,000
"The Sky is the Limit"
EventWorks, Los Angeles
To showcase the exciting capabilities of a newly remodeled convention center ballroom, the event team created four "mini events"—ranging from an intimate lounge reception to a full-blown rock 'n' roll arena event—spanning five hours. Entertainment included skateboarders, hip hop dancers, a jazz harpist, media mapping, and cirque-style aerialists.
Best Event Produced For a Corporation Or Association: Overall Budget Under $100,000
"Vintage Amazing Race"
Lori Parks Corporate Events, Sunset, S.C.
For a client's executive leadership team, the term "vintage" took on a new meaning for a team-building event in California's wine country, as eight teams raced across Napa Valley in a 1940s-themed race. Traveling in classic cars, teams competed in eight vintage-themed challenges, included speed croquet, learning the fox trot, playing schoolyard games, and stomping grapes the old-fashioned way.
Best Event Produced For a Corporation Or Association: Overall Budget $100,000 To $249,999
SEAT Press Conference: Auto Salon Geneva 2014
Vok Dams, Wuppertal, Germany
The event team created an indelible impression of a new car model's chic style by creating an oversize riff on the famous movie image of Marilyn Monroe's skirt blowing up, revealing two cars. A second story in the 15-minute press conference underscored the record-breaking speed of the Leon Cupra model by pairing dancers with footage of a recent race, culminating with the car coming onstage and winning driver Jordi Gené climbing out.
Best Event Produced For a Corporation Or Association: Overall Budget $250,000 To $500,000
"Beaches of the World"
Russell Harris Event Group, North Hollywood, Calif.
A global technology client kicked off its 2014 international sales and marketing conference by welcoming 3,500 guests from around the world to the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. The event team took the client poolside for a sophisticated pool party representing beaches of the world—Middle East, South Beach, South Pacific, Latin America, Asia—where the corporate giant has divisions.
Best Event Produced For A Corporation Or Association: Overall Budget Above $500,000
E=MC2 Events, Calgary, Alberta
For BC/Vancouver Night—a tourism promotion event—1,700 guests were taken on an elaborate cross-province, adrenaline-driven adventure of a lifetime. Highlights included a 150-foot aerial line of athletes sailing overhead, mountain bikers performing on 100-foot ramps and ladders, a mix of British Columbia neighborhoods with themed food stations, wine stomping, Bollywood dancing, and a 9-foot-tall animatronic grizzly bear foraging and dancing with guests.