MEDTRONIC RNC DELEGATE EVENT
Ryan Hanson, BeEvents; Sheree Bochenek, Apres Party and Tent Rental; Chris Swarbrick, Ice Occasions; Atmosphere Events/ Equinox Creative; Matthew Trettel, The Wedding Guys
- Best Event Design and Decor: Budget $25,001+
- Best Corporate Event Planning: Budget $75,001+
- Best ISES Team Effort
On the opening day of the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, 1,600 guests attended an event hosted by medical-device manufacturer Medtronic at its headquarters. Attendees included delegates and leaders from Arizona, California, Indiana, Minnesota, and Tennessee, where Medtronic has a strong presence. The company goals for the event were to highlight:
- Its new branding and its history
- Medtronic products and therapies
- The importance of the company to the guests’ home states
- The importance of collaboration between physicians and industry
As Hurricane Gustav was developing, the event also become an impromptu fundraiser for communities affected by the storm. Because the Republican Committee chose to limit parties on the opening night of the convention out of respect for storm victims, the fundraising was necessary to avoid cancelling the event.
Screen images, vinyl graphics, display panels, and lighting conveyed the company’s branding and message throughout the venue. Company experts were on hand to speak to visitors. The new brand images and colors—blues, greens, and purples—were used in the invitations and event decor. Guest moved between three main spaces:
- The conservatory, with dark blue and purple linens, featured an ice bar and ice curtains that allowed views into the next event space. Shelving filled with prepared drinks at the entrance allowed guests to pick up a glass and move on without creating a bottleneck.
- Light blue and purple linens and lighting were used in the adjacent commons area, which included a stage for guest speakers, Broadway performers, and musicians. A la-by-30-foot screen above the stage displayed welcome messages for each state’s delegation and information about the company.
- The courtyard lounge, under a clear canopy set up outside, was decorated with green hues, acrylic furniture, chandeliers, and acrylic floor tiles lit from below. Koi fish swam in acrylic aquariums, and a 16-by-4 foot pool with four water fountains was surrounded by lounge seating.
THE WEDDING FAIR
Matthew Trettel, The Wedding Guys; Amy Coppersmith, Coppersmith Photography
- Best Public Event Planning
- Best Event Photography/Videography
Designed as a boutique-style shopping experience for 2,000 brides and their guests, a wedding trade show offered a series of designed spaces. A ceremony and reception setting was created in the 150-foot long entrance space. From there, attendees entered a space set for a banquet, including a 16-piece orchestra and ballroom dancers. The designed entrance areas were meant to get attendees thinking about the multiple aspects of wedding planning. A 30-foot entrance wall introduced the theme of the show—White House weddings—and the show sponsors, and helped direct attendees as they came off the escalators.
To create a department-store feel on the trade show floor, the exhibits were grouped into quads and separated by eight-foot walls. Booths were grouped by area of interest or market segments to aid in navigation, and colors and decor elements defined each area.
A fashion show displayed gowns from famous and emerging designers, and “Club Groom” a nightclub-like space for prospective grooms—included a full bar and seating.
The “Weddings Couture” area—a show within a show—catered to a new demographic. The event’s planners partnered with luxury boutiques and wedding venues to create a unique experience for high-end clientele, including a couture fashion show.
The photographer documented each part of the event, especially the main fashion show, and highlighted the scale of the event.
(Best Public Event Planning)
- Leah Wong, Minneapolis Downtown Council (2)
(Best Event Photography/Videography)
- Noah Wolf, Noah Wolf Photography Inc. (2)