WestJet has built a brand around their unique corporate culture, with their team of WestJetters as the star of the show. Given such a deep seated and valuable commitment to culture and people, it stands to reason that the annual holiday staff event is not taken lightly. We have the distinct pleasure of working with WestJet’s team to bring the event theme to life each year, and in 2018 that meant Seuss-ifying each venue for a surprising and whimsical trip into a storybook.
Our client’s theme of “Oh The Places We’ll Go” came to life in both locations through bold use of colour, eccentric and unexpected shapes, and a fun spattering of inspiring quotations, all pulled directly from the stories and illustrations in some of Dr. Seuss’ most beloved books. With a theme perfectly suited to a company that transports people all over the world, one of the visual elements from the book that was most important to include was the hot air balloon, and these played a prominent role in the design. Our team liaised with the WestJet graphics team, who developed an original Seuss scene in the event colour palette. This graphic was then incorporated on décor pieces such as cylindrical vase centrepieces and custom registration booths, on top of which perched 3-foot hot air balloons. We also sourced a 16-foot hot air balloon to serve as a fun selfie opp for guests throughout the evening.
A key challenge with the theme was ensuring that this childhood classic was translated with enough maturity that the end result felt playful, but not childish. To do this, we started by collaborating with our client to develop a sophisticated but dynamic colour palette featuring deep shades of plum, teal, mustard, and navy. This foundation of saturated jewel tones kept the undercurrent of the design grounded and suitably mature, and balanced any pops of brighter colour in the space.
Offbeat floral arrangements in colourful vases and vessels felt delightfully fantastical atop tables, as did tiny leaning trees overloaded with ornaments that took Christmas décor cues from The Grinch. The Lorax Lounge boasted green and plum shag carpeting with plum and teal microsuede furniture and plump stuffed ottomans, creating an inviting place to mingle with fellow WestJetters. Purple and blue event lighting and glowing LED accents were the perfect finishing touch, giving the entire space an otherworldly quality.
To cap off the evening’s program and transition guests to the dance floor, we worked with our event partners to coordinate a dramatic balloon drop. At just the right moment, 1,000 balloons hidden in the rigging plot overhead were released in front of surprised guests as the band kicked into action, ushering WestJetters out to dance the night away.
It was a joy to collaborate with our client on this two-city event, with the aim to bring joy to their employees. Tapping into the wonder and magic of Dr. Suess’ legendary work was infectious, and allowed us to flex our collective imaginations and creativity in a new and unique way. In the end, the décor came together to transport guests straight to Seusville just as pleasantly and effortlessly as a friendly WestJet flight.