Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My (brief) Awards Season

Not all of us have a party budget like HBO or InStyle. I work as the Events Manager for a regional convenience store chain in the Midwest. It's a mid-size company with over 400 stores, 4,500 employees, over $2 billion in sales, and some pretty conservative leadership. They want internal events and dinners want things done well; but on a (tight) budget. I can't complain too much - they know enough to have an events manager to handle these things, right?
While our recent awards ceremony (for our 30 district supervisors) doesn't compare to these elaborate displays of exemplary event production I'm happy with what lil' ole me could produce with my muscle on a lil' ole budget.

Our corporate headquarters has an atrium that is a great space to work with. It's large, open and dramatic. Because this was for company recognition, I decided to use our brand colors - red, black and white - as the decor theme. And what would an awards ceremony be without a red carpet?
With a bigger budget I could have used tall ladder, some nice quality fabric, some dowels and a few of these nifty magnets to add some red draping along the sides of the space. Turning down the lights and adding uplighting to the material would have created even more drama.

Because the focus of the event was the awards I went with simple centerpieces. Plus, once the salad bowls and pre-set desserts were added - the tables were pretty full. I wrapped glass cylinder vases with shiny white scrapbook paper and set those on top of a piece of die cut scrapbook paper. I used this tutorial from Domestifluff to make two pom-pom flowers for each table. It was a great excuse to craft at work!

Another great thing about this space is the natural stage at the base of the stairs. It's ideal for a one-person presentation and it suits the needs for this event. But for a few more (ok, more than a few) dollars I could create a cleaner and more professional look with a taller and wider set of pipe and drape with a few more uplights and a larger screen.
So it may not be Hollywood but you gotta start somewhere, right?!

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