Sometimes our clients don’t have the luxury to actually wander the streets of Boston when they are attending a conference, so its our job to bring the entire Boston experience to them! Earlier this fall, we transformed the Institute of Contemporary Art and created distinct Boston neighborhoods in various parts of the museum. Decor, food and entertainment in each area brought the famed neighborhoods to life, while custom action stations provided guests with an interactive component.
As guests arrived at the ICA and entered the Foyer, it was as if they had been transported to a traditional Italian trattoria. The combination of floor to ceiling windows and festoon lights created an intimate outdoor cafe atmosphere. Tables topped with red check linens and red rose centerpieces were the perfect spot for guests to sit and imagine they were in the North End! Guests could pick up delectable pasta dishes, unique cannoli creations, and glasses of wine from the wine barrel food stations. To top off the North End experience, a chef created gelato before guests’ eyes using cutting edge liquid nitrogen technology. A specially trained LN2 mixologist whipped up sweet treats on the spot using only the purest ingredients. Guests loved the spectacle and the amazing flavors!
Next, guests headed upstairs to the ICA’s theatre for an Irish Bar experience accompanied by magnificent views of Boston Harbor and the downtown skyline. Industrial metal stools provided contrast to the gleaming wooden high top tables and heavy wooden bar with matching molding. Guests were invited to taste whiskey samples from local distillery, Bully Boy, while they listened to an authentic Irish band. A beautiful lighting treatment completely transformed the theatre-style seating into a stunning focal point for the room.
As guests headed back downstairs they were welcomed into the ICA’s Water Cafe for a quick stop in Chinatown! Sleek white furniture and bright orchid arrangements fit perfectly within the already contemporary and stylish cafe. Themed delicacies were served in Chinese takeout boxes with red chopsticks as a fun, yet functional garnish. Boston’s modern day Chinatown features a wide variety of Asian eateries. Japanese sake and an intricate sushi station brought this diversity to life!
Outside on the patio, guests experienced the New England Waterfront. Located right on the water’s edge, the plaza offered striking views of Boston harbor. Though the weather proved uncooperative, the tent’s clear walls allowed guests to embrace the outdoors without getting wet. Echoing the seaside theme, decor featured rusti-chic elements that included wooden picnic tables, burlap runners, rustic lanterns and herbs and grasses in natural containers. Custom white bars with burlap panels complimented the tent’s furnishings. At an interactive raw bar, guests were served local Island Creek oysters from a 6-foot Dory boat while they learned about the bivalves and the landscape of Duxbury Bay where they were harvested. For the beer lover, a custom beer tap wall allowed guests to sample a variety of Harpoon Brewery brews and learn about the history behind each beer.
If guests desired (although the weather kept many at bay) they were invited to wander outside and sit below the ICA’s Amphitheater. Soft pillow areas were the perfect place for guests to take in the Boston waterfront. A lighting treatment on the overhang and over-sized lanterns produced a soft glow turning the stark, wooden space into a welcoming oasis.
After a whirlwind trip around Boston’s famed neighborhoods guests were ready to board the motor coaches and head back to their hotels!