Photo by Lauren B Photography
International Live Events Association (ILEA) Awards The Wedding Guys® with the International Esprit Awards in three categories: Best Public Event, Best Marketing/Graphic Design and Best Design/Décor over $75,000 for their – UNVEILED – The Ultimate Wedding Planning Event –
UNVEILED – The Ultimate Wedding Planning Event, held twice a year in Minneapolis, was honored at the International Esprit Awards on Saturday, August 10, 2019 as part of the ILEA Live Conference hosted this year in Minneapolis. The Esprit Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence for the best, most creative and innovative contributions to the special events industry.
UNVEILED redefined the term ‘Bridal Show’ by transforming the traditional trade show into a retail-inspired shopping experience; connecting wedding businesses to style-conscious wedding planning couples. Setting out to design an environment unlike any other bridal show, The Wedding Guys utilized a key set of design strategies and signature decor elements to turn a vast 100,000 square foot exhibit hall into an experiential event that evoked the feeling of a luxury department store.
The experience of UNVEILED begins long before couples ever step foot on the show floor. As a public event, brand awareness is critical. To meet the goals and objectives of the event – to drive attendance and engage wedding vendors – The Wedding Guys utilized unique marketing collateral and a trendy and vibrant palette with fresh, dynamic visuals to brand the show in all pre-event marketing, exciting both attending brides and exhibiting businesses. Creative graphic design was critical to find success in a branded experience guests would not soon forget. In six specific ways – marketing collateral, event collateral, registration signage, animated videos, print ads, and outdoor advertising – the use of graphic design was central in creating an original experience for both vendor and guest. This brand would be woven into the event space as well. The producers worked to create a consistent and high-end look throughout the show by the event tagline: “inspiration.trends.style.”
VIP BRANDED ARRIVAL
o Entrance: A custom backlit entrance piece created a wow-factor before guests entered the event space.
o Registration: Guests were welcomed by a dynamic registration counter and grand glass bubble chandelier.
o New Name Wall: The tone for the event was set with a branded 40’ long lightbox designed as part of the red-carpet arrival, where guests could sign their ‘soon-to-be’ new married name.
o Souvenir Program & Tote Bag: Attendees received the oversized souvenir program which contained all the necessary event information (map, overview of the event’s themed concept, agenda, exhibitor listings, and fashion show descriptions) and a branded bag
Beyond the entrance, there was bridal eye-candy everywhere. The event space was divided into signature elements, gallery spaces and fashion show theater, all enhanced with stylized design elements all housed within four distinct ‘rooms’ on the show floor: The Salon, The Loft, La Boutique and Monogram.
o A museum-style gallery of couture wedding gowns graced 25 pristine white mannequins.
o Within The Loft area of the show we created a mid-century modern lounge that would feature the Tuxedo gallery and disc jockey spinning retro tunes.
o Tabletop Gallery: Decor trends from partnering rental companies were showcased in lavish tablescapes featured in the Tabletop Gallery.
SIGNATURE EVENT ELEMENTS
o Beauty Bar: Bold graphics were developed for the signature areas including the Beauty Bar which would feature beautiful mirrored finishes in the furnishings and midnight blue gloss counters.
o The Cake Emporium: Designed as a French parlor with beautiful printed-velvet library panels, soft seating for relaxing and enjoying samples, and a gallery display of cakes set atop mirrored store fixtures.
o Tasting Bars: Collaboration with local caterers provided a new concept for the event entitled ‘Tasting Bars’. These areas would include restaurant-inspired build-outs for the caterers with custom graphic panels, lounge seating and unique ceiling treatments.
o Mimosa Bubbly Bar: Dressing up the standard ‘convention-style’ bar service, a cocktail lounge environment was designed with silver leather sofas, tufted bar and graphic black and white details paired with a peony motif. o Bespoke -The Shop @ Unveiled: A collection of custom branded event souvenirs and specialized gifts were sold in a unique branded buildout, utilizing recycled
department store cosmetic cases.
o The Honeymoon & Destination Wedding Showcase: UNVEILED offered a unique opportunity for couples seeking travel options, within the Honeymoon & Destination Wedding Showcase, where they could find everything they needed to plan a destination wedding or honeymoon.
o The Trend Wedding Experience: The Wedding Guys developed an immersive environment to provide an experience where couples could actually ‘walk down the aisle’ of a themed wedding ceremony and reception design concept, inspiring the attendees to consider the multiple aspects of their wedding event. The design would center on the concept created in tribute to Kate Spade. The
experience began as guests filed past a $25,000 couture gown, flown in from Kleinfeld’s, encased in a clear acrylic case, priming the guests and setting the mood for the stunning environment unfolding in front of them. The modern eventscape would feature signature patterns, bold colors and quotes from Kate Spade.
o TrendSpot Fashion Show: Centered under the magnificent uplit, domed ceiling of the exhibit hall, the producers designed and constructed a 16′ tall theater space to host the TrendSpot Fashion Show. The fashion show provided an up-close and personal VIP viewing experience following the New York Bridal Fashion Week format used for fashion buyers and the international press.
EVENT DESIGN ELEMENTS
o To break through the traditional trade show feel, exhibit backdrops all exceeded the standard 8′ convention style and ranged from a minimum of 10′ to a maximum of 16′ giving the entire show floor a staggered appearance.
o Upgraded grommet-topped velvet drape options we sourced along with modular laser-cut panels to create more dynamic display options for the exhibiting businesses.
o Spaces were defined with 16′ towers and walls created from a modular system of aluminum and acrylic panels.
EVENT DESIGN PHILOSOPHY
Consistency was important throughout the event space so an investment was made in retail fixtures and mannequins to create
each of the distinct gallery spaces. The Wedding Guys wanted the ‘Art’ being displayed by the exhibiting partners to be the focus, so they used white gloss tables, shelving and white gloss mannequins throughout the galleries. This created a special ‘museum’ effect
“We are extremely thrilled about receiving three ILEA Esprit Awards,” says Matthew Trettel, of The Wedding Guys®. “We’ve worked to design a shopping environment that brings to life the latest trends, moments to cherish with loved ones, a couture fashion show, and an array of 130 service providers ready to help make the impossible, possible.”
“Wedding-planning couples truly embrace our experience, appreciate our vision in creating something beautiful and shoppable while keeping a commitment to featuring the best wedding experts” says Bruce Vassar, of The Wedding Guys®. “Being recognized like this allows us to showcase the incredibly talented wedding experts in the Twin Cities for the world to see.”