Sunny San Diego was the perfect place to meet up with event profs for The Special Event 2019 a couple of weeks ago, and we took full advantage of the opportunity to connect, explore, and re-energize our enthusiasm and creativity. The tradeshow portion of TSE is always a great chance to get inspired, and we’ve gathered a top 10 list here of our favourite booths that featured goods and services ranging from practical to innovative to trendy, all of which will be inspiring our work in 2019.

1. Geeks Who Drink
Enough said? Okay, we’ll say a little more. Take that super-packed trivia night from your favourite bar and turn it into a custom event activation that will get more engagement from your guests than you’ve potentially ever seen before. Geeks Who Drink will custom-create a trivia round based on literally anything you want, so that everyone from the CEO of a corporation to the guest of honour at a Bat Mitzvah can geek out on what they’re into. Legal drinking age not required.

Check out Geeks Who Drink here.

2. Atomic
This innovative company was created by a London-based set designer who was known for building beautiful sets that wowed on-stage, but travelled lightly and snapped into place quickly. Now, Atomic creates – and ships globally – modular event environments that follow that same formula. Choose from categories like corporate events, live entertainment, and retail, and get everything you need to land a big impression, but packaged small.

Learn more about Atomic here.

3. Harlequin Floors
A dance floor, a runway, a set, or a stage – regardless of what you need to do in your event space, there’s no need to settle for whatever flooring your venue has built-in. Harlequin Floors makes a roll-out flooring product called Hi-Shine that is available in a variety of scratch-resistant finishes (everything from hardwood to metallic).

See what Harlequin Floors has on offer here.

4. LA Photo Party
With a name like that, this business sounds fun before you even know what it’s about, right? LA Photo Party is marketed as a “photo booth without the booth,” and their goal is essentially to push the boundaries of the expected photo booth, and offer something that goes above and beyond. Totally immersive environments, more space for more people, virtual reality, light painting… you get the idea. In a world where selfies are ubiquitous and photo booths are expected, doing something that feels fresh is everything.

Check out the many ways to get that shot for the ‘Gram here.

5. Labor Finders
Beautiful environments, innovative technology, and engaging activations are certainly important, but at the end of the day, if your event isn’t properly staffed all the flash in the world is not going to make it a success. Labor Finders is like the Tinder of event staffing, matching trustworthy, skilled workers with the perfect employers – okay, on second thought this process is a lot more insightful than swiping right on a cute profile pic.

Get staffed up here.

6. Paintscaping, Inc.
If you haven’t looked into 3D projection mapping for your events, we recommend you do so stat. This technology is one of the most exciting things to happen to the industry in recent years, and Paintscaping, Inc. is at the forefront of the trend.

See what they can do here.

7. SEARCH Foundation
This cause is always close to our hearts, figuratively and also literally when we proudly wear our SEARCH Foundation pins. With the aim of event professionals supporting event professionals, the organization uses your support to provide financial aid to event profs in crisis.

Learn more about SEARCH Foundation’s work here.

8. StaffMate Online
If you’ve worked with us, you know we get just as excited about the logistics side of events as we do about décor and design. StaffMate is coming through big time on the process side of things with online staff scheduling and on-site event management programs. They build GPS time clocks, payroll integration, and other convenient and well thought-out tools, and there’s even an app for that.

See all the ways you can get organized here.

9. The Gastro Garage
No, this is not a reference to your dad’s favourite spot to hang out. Brace yourself for this description, because it’s wild: The Gastro Garage creates “Gastro Tanks” – gourmet sandwiches and desserts created out of a savory brioche donut, nitrous foam, and a torched topping. This is done onsite at your event by a rowdy crew of “Gastro Mechanics” who are literally wielding actual blowtorches and wearing welding masks. The crew can set up anywhere and they don’t require any hookups for electricity, gas, or water in order to feed your guests.  

See it all in action right here.

10. VividLite
Lighting is so, so crucial to an event, and great lighting goes far beyond your basic spots and your standard rigging. VividLite manufacturers unique and sophisticated lighting options like their ShadowBox structures, which are controlled via a smartphone app. User-friendly, portable, and eye-catching – a trifecta of lighting genius.

See VividLite’s brilliance here.


Keep it going by getting into the conversation around Five Top Corporate Event Trends, and if you’re feeling motivated to get yourself to a conference this year, check out our list of 16 options happening in the first half of this year.