The Special Event wrapped up last night with the 2018 Gala Awards, and what a night it was. Let’s recap:

It was definitely worth getting dressed up for.
First off, we don’t mind saying that we were sincerely excited just to be nominated for three Gala Awards this year, and while we were definitely paying attention as our categories came up – and possibly practicing our ‘didn’t win’ faces – actually taking home a Gala was always going to be more icing than cake. From the PGA tour to lavish weddings, celebrating the diverse range of our industry and being inspired by other event professionals made for an amazing night. We’re grateful to Special Events Magazine for the three nominations and even more grateful to our amazing clients, partners, and vendors. Add to that a fantastic week of learning and sharing, plus a chance to explore these amazing spots in beautiful New Orleans, and we’re going home feeling like winners.

And to think we knew them when…
Big, BIG congratulations to some friends of ours who will be flying home with a little more weight in their carry-ons: Canada Place for Best Fair/Festival, e=mc2 Events for Best Event Produced for a Private Individual: Budget Under $1,000 per Guest, and Fifth Element Group for Best Decor: Total Decor Budget Under $50,000.

Come behind-the-scenes, just for fun.
One of the side-effects of award nominations is the trip down memory lane that it naturally takes us on. Since everything is better when shared, here are some behind-the-scenes facts about our three nominated events:

Event: Stampede Shaker and Oxford Stomp
Category Nominated: Best Achievement in Event Rental Support
What you didn’t know: When a massive downpour turned our large outdoor event space into a logistics and health and safety obstacle course just ahead of this Stampede event, Jen got a chance to do what she does best – the seemingly impossible. During the space of time that lightning warnings had all production halted, Jen mapped out alternate drop-off points for vendors, from which product was carried into place individually by golf carts, so as not to tear up the muddy grounds. Jen drove an estimated 100 kms in a golf cart throughout this event – that’s approximately the distance from Calgary to Canmore.

Event: GatsBEA 90th Birthday Party
Category Nominated: Best Event Produced for a Private Individual: Budget under $1,000 per Guest
What you didn’t know:  Our speakeasy entrance for this roaring ‘20s 90th birthday party was originally designed to live outside. We had ordered special washable paint and intended to put the custom BEA stencil directly onto the outer walls of the hotel and the pavement of the parking lot (and had professional cleaners booked to remove the stencils the following day). However, with inclement weather looming the week of the event we developed a rain contingency plan that moved the entrance indoors and featured the stenciled brick walls, lattice, and boxwood seen in the final result here.

Event: NCPC Gala
Category Nominated: Best Décor: Total Budget under $50,000
What you didn’t know: Shell Oil has a long history in New York City – the company moved its headquarters there in 1949. So when Shell’s annual NCPC Gala theme landed on New York City, that date played a big role in our inspiration – all of our custom street signs and vintage newspaper print graphics were pulled directly from the year 1949. You can see how the vintage elements blended with skyscraper gobos and twinkling tablescapes here.