It’s been a few years since the Philadelphia chapter of the National Association of Catering Executives (N.A.C.E.) held a Gala for the folks in the event industry.
On January 16, 2011 they certainly made up for lost time.
This Gala – by far – was the most impressive industry event I have ever attended. As a matter of fact, it’s quite likely that this was the most impressive event I’ve ever attended period.
After valet parking, guests entered into the surreal, as they were treated to mouth watering hors d’oeuvres, and trapeze artists serving champagne from on high. There was no shortage of eye-candy, both in the attire of the attendees and the lights and thematic décor, but the most impressive element was yet to come.
It was the infinite wisdom of Karen Pecora to assemble the team of event professionals that were to be involved. Among many great and creative minds, she brought together the three “E’s”, Eventions Productions, Evantine and EventQuip… and the rest is history.
“If you build it, they will come.”
~Field of Dreams
Ed Knight and his team at EventQuip did just that. I’ve written about EventQuip in the past (click here), but to actually see them in action was something else entirely. Truth be told, I wasn’t planning on even attending the Gala until Ed phoned me the week of, telling me I would be making a mistake if I missed it. He was right, and I was significantly blown away, as Ed likely knew I would be.
As I crossed over the glass floor (with a girl lying below), I beheld ‘the ballroom’. I put ballroom in quotes because, in reality, it didn’t even exist, so to speak. Ed Knight and the EventQuip team (props to Josh) ‘built’ the structure which sat 200 plus guests, and housed a lounge area, full bar (two bars if you include the appendage of the vodka bar), and a raised stage with a water pool beneath it (upon which Big Ric and his band rocked the house).
In short, let’s just say that all future events might need a limbo theme, because the bar has just been raised.
As Karen Pecora said in her opening remarks, “We couldn’t find a ballroom this cool in Philly… so we got Ed Knight to build it”. And so they did.
To Brian Kappra from Evantine, Brian Toner from Eventions Productions, Sandy O from Creative Juice and Scott Barnes from Stephen Starr, my hat is off to you all, and to those I may have forgot to mention. To Karen… Kudos for putting together such an all-star team, and lastly – in my humble opinion – the cake goes to Ed Knight and all the folks at EventQuip for building something from nothing. And although even Ed will have a hard time out-doing himself on this one, I suspect the next big Gala may just be held in a ballroom built entirely of Lego blocks… Silly? Maybe, but if it could be done, EventQuip would be the company to do it.
Cutting Edge Entertainment
Images (other than the before and after) courtesy of Barton Paul Photography
Catering by Stephen Starr – www.stephenstarrevents.net
Lighting by Eventions Productions – www.eventionsproductions.com
Design by Evantine – www.evantinedesign.com
Magic and Pixie Dust (live performers) by Creative Juice Group
Tent Structure/Architect – www.eventquip.com