This month, our table design is featured in the Peterson Party Center showroom! If you haven’t had a chance to check it out in person yet – here are a few fabulous photos from Sage Photography. Moroccan inspired – we invited their royal family to dinner in at our high 8′ communal table. Gorgeous textured bronze orbs acted as place cards, salt and pepper was served in bejeweled containers, and tassels hanging from the ballroom stools added a little extra opulence. Plus, we just swoon every time we see our elephant in action!
Inspiration for a holiday party can come from many things; funky, retro décor (A “Happy” Holiday Party), some AMAZING wooden tables (Curl Up In Our Coziest Winter Lodge Yet), and even a company’s name. That’s where our party for Redstar falls; with a name like that how could we not put a Russian twist on their holiday celebration?
This December, we transformed Redstar’s office, production studio, and cafe into three unique spaces where guests could mingle, eat, dance, and celebrate the holidays. A branded ice bar set the scene at cocktail hour where guests were invited to participate in a Russian vodka tasting and sample Russian inspired cocktails and fare.
Long wooden tables, lush velvet cushions, and an eclectic mix of candles, birch accents, winter florals and even miniature matryoshka dolls (aka Russian nesting dolls) created the backdrop for dinner. As “Doctor Zhivago” and “From Russia with Love” played guests enjoyed a Russian inspired menu that included borscht, beef stroganoff and pavlova.
After dinner, guests made their way downstairs to Redstar’s own production studio for some late night fun! The DJ, accompanied by a live drummer, kept attendees dancing into the wee hours, while white soft seating with faux fur blankets surrounding the dance-floor allowed for the occasional break.
Last Wednesday Jill, Elizabeth and Laura ventured over Fort Point Channel to the BCEC and attended MPI’s January meeting addressing the state of the industry. With over 180 members and guests in attendance, it was a terrific showing by local planners and vendors – a great opportunity to catch up with many of our dear friends! With a panel of leading experts, we participated in an interactive discussion on the state of our industry touching on hotel occupancy, government travel regulation, green meetings and overall trends observed.
Managing Director at Pinnacle Advisory Group, Matthew Arrants, shared his thoughts on the cyclical nature of the hotel industry; he included tips – encouraging planners to negotiate hotel contracts while the market is down. Currently, there are record occupancy rates at the high end of the market and rates are predicted to go up as supply is staying low while demand is at average rates. Where can you get the best value? Secondary cities have great value and flexible booking patterns will allow for more leverage in the negotiation process. And right here in Boston – we’re essentially at full capacity – meaning deals are hard to find in this first class destination!
The second panelist, Robert Zarnetske, Regional Administrator for the New England Region’s US General Services Administration shared interesting insight into government regulations for federal travel. Echoing a general philosophy that we are currently in an austere time with little tolerance for big government spending, federal travel and meetings are focused on efficient spending with many meetings happening via a network of teleconference rooms.
Perhaps the issue of the decade – climate change, was addressed by Dan Ruben, Executive Director of Boston Green Tourism. Addressing what meeting planners can do to positively influence global impact on the planet, Ruben suggested including green criteria in RFPs in an effort to select a green venue for all aspects of the meeting. A green meeting uses less fossil fuel, energy and water, and offers environmentally friendly food. There is even an option to certify a meeting as green through CIC’s APEX and ASTM International’s environmentally sustainable meeting standards.
Finally, Janet Weiner, CMP, a Strategic Account Manager at Maritz Travel shared broad trends seen across the industry. In the current economy, she has observed companies doing more with less, shorter meeting cycles, increased emphasis on mobile apps for real time information, interactive meeting formats, emphasis on compliance and higher airfares with more fees. To keep those budgets tight focus on site selection and multi-year contracts, creative food and beverage (ie. serving a family style meal instead of plated), re-using meeting rooms and eliminating printed material.
A fascinating evening – we’re so glad to be surrounded by such experts sharing their knowledge with us. We’re hopeful for a successful 2013 for the entire industry as we adapt to the ever-evolving needs of our clients – we just can’t resist a challenge!
What could be a warmer way to celebrate the holiday season than inviting guests into their very own upscale winter lodge for the night? For this corporate client, we did just that! The Four Seasons Ballroom was completely transformed into a cozy escape from the bitter temperatures outside – requiring guests to relax with colleagues and friends amongst faux fur, obese pine cones and a roaring “fireplace” (also faux).
Walnut tables (our new obsession) oozed mountain-side retreat set with pine branches, cones and antlers and kept upscale with lucite ballroom chairs.
More walnut tables! Soft seating areas fit for a fire-side nap welcomed guests to tuck away in a corner for quieter conversations amongst plush faux-fur pillows and fuzzy throws.
Echoing the season, birch and fir branches, sat beside amaryllis and accent greens in the centerpieces. If you can’t get to the great outdoors, why not bring it in!?
After enjoying a winter inspired menu, the dance floor was packed all night long to multiple plays of “Call Me Maybe” – no, Carly Rae Jepsen is not old news. Quick breaks were taken for s’mores delivered via dessert carts.
Don’t you just want to curl up in a ball of fur right now? It’s 20 degrees outside, so we certainly do!