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BizBash Announces Event Style Award Winners

On Wednesday, 1,800 attendees packed the California Market Center for BizBash's inaugural Los Angeles trade show. The big day ended with a ceremony to unveil the winners of our first Event Style Awards on the West Coast. Without further ado, we present our winners!

Best Gift Bag

GBK Emmy Gift Lounge, submitted by GBK Productions
In addition to a traditional mix of fashion accessories, the latest gadgets, and a variety of spa-treatment options, GBK Productions incorporated a green element to its $35,000 Emmy gift lounge gift bag. Guests could take home such environmentally friendly products as organic pillows and pillowcases, hemp aromatherapy candles, and a year's supply of environmentalist Ed Begley’s Best cleaning products. To further encourage environmentally responsible lifestyles, Ford offered Emmy nominees and presenters leases for its hybrid vehicle.

Best Staging/Set Design
The Tech Museum of Innovation Awards, submitted by DaVinci Fusion Inc.
When the museum asked DaVinci to design a fabric tapestry that would reflect the multicultural nature of its awards, DaVinci used high-density scans of authentic tapestry patterns from around the world and placed them onto three large panels. The digitally printed fabric panels were each accented with a silk or cotton layer and then hung throughout the stage. To recognize sponsors, DaVinci created additional printed panels that complemented the rest of the stage design. All of the digitally printed fabrics evoked real crafts from around the globe.

Best Meeting/Incentive Event Program
ISES Los Angeles’s “Meet the Masters” Education Program, submitted by Charles Banfield Productions
Banfield put a new twist into the local ISES chapter's education program by injecting a party vibe into the typically conference-style event.  At an interactive multi-roundtable-discussion dinner, guests got tickets to win elaborate door prizes, with the opportunity to purchase more tickets to benefit the ISES L.A. Scholarship Program. Wolfgang Puck catered a family-style dinner while industry experts circulated among tables, talking with guests about networking and business relationships.

Best Overall Catering at an Event
UCLA School of Medicine’s Millennium Ball, submitted by Along Came Mary Productions
Because the Millennium Ball was held in a tent at the entrance of the Ronald Reagan Hospital, which was still under construction, Along Came Mary set up kitchens in a lane of Westwood Boulevard that had been closed to traffic. But the team coped with the tight cooking accommodations, creating a health-conscious menu that featured a “San Francisco Chop” salad including grilled zucchini, asparagus, and grilled tiger shrimp. The company enlivened a traditional chicken breast entrée by dusting it with wild-mushroom powder, incorporating a mushroom bread pudding, and topping the dish with crispy carrot julienne and chicken au jus. Vegetarians feasted on artful vegetable towers.

Best New Venue 
Republic Restaurant & Lounge, submitted by Murphy O'Brien
Officially opened in March 2006, Republic has hosted such events as Us Weekly’s “Hot Hollywood” party and In Style’s Oscar-viewing party. Owner Mikayel Israyelyan collaborated with Margaret O’Brien and Paul Collett of O’Brien & Associates Design Inc. to create the space, which includes private lounges, a patio complete with cabanas, and a dining room with cylindrical fire pits. A 5,000-square-foot attached structure called “the venue” holds 200 for seated events or 330 for receptions and offers state-of-the-art audiovisual capabilities, movable cabanas, and modular booths.

Best Event PR Strategy
H&M’s Viktor & Rolf Collection Launch, submitted by BluPRint Public Relations
The retailer sought the help of BluPRint to put on a buzz-generating event showcasing the dynamic new collection. The result was a glamorous, wedding-style reception to commemorate the marriage of the two companies. The lavish evening featured a cake-cutting ceremony, music, dancing, and a traditional bouquet toss. Many A-list celebrities attended the highly publicized event at a private residence in luxe Bel-Air.

Best Lighting Design 
CBS's “Winter Wonderland” Theatre Critics Association Presentation, submitted by Kinetic Lighting Inc.
Kinetic was charged with the task of creating a lighting design that played into the event’s seasonally inspired theme. The team, led by principal lighting director James Schipper, used Finelite fixtures to project images of snow-capped mountains bathed in cool blue lighting onto the venue’s walls, such that guests were surrounded by the wintry scene. White lighting accented pine trees that were part of the event decor, and gobo breakup patterns resembling pine needles created dappled pools of light.

Best Invitation Design
New Year's Eve Celebration at Wynn Las Vegas, submitted by Creative Intelligence
Targeting an audience of V.I.P. hotel clients, friends of the Wynn, and high rollers, Creative Intelligence went for a chic, understated design, using bold, orange-hued shagreen paper with gold lettering for the envelope and a soft, suedelike cream-colored bifold card inside. Orange ribbon accents and gold lettering on the card complemented the envelope.

Best Nonprofit Event Concept
The Good News Foundation Kickoff Luncheon, submitted by Russell Harris Event Group
The Russell Harris Event Group gave this charity luncheon an innovative twist by using video screens as centerpieces, instead of traditional program books on tabletops. This concept allowed for the speakers to be introduced before their speeches and created the illusion of televised programming at the event. Complementing the overall theme, the invitation design mimicked a mini TV set. With consistent branding throughout the event, the organization’s mission came in crystal clear and created a fun and unique atmosphere for guests. 

Best Entertainment/Program Concept

U.S. Premiere of Volkswagen Concept Tiguan, submitted by Rabin Rodgers Inc.
Rabin Rodgers used a futuristic design including metal structures and scaffolding to play up the car’s design features and put together a striking entertainment program that included celebrity hosts Christian Slater, Jaime King, and Zooey Deschanel. Guest DJs Twiggy Ramirez of Nine Inch Nails and Adam Bravin of She Wants Revenge spun high-energy sets, followed by a special drum performance preceding the unveiling of the concept car. Grammy winner Ludacris ended the night as the headline act.
 Best Overall Event Decor
Recording Academy’s “Grammy Celebration” After-Party, submitted by Along Came Mary Productions
The Recording Academy collaborated with Along Came Mary to convert the Los Angeles Convention Center’s 140,000-square-foot West Hall into a lush environment that evoked the four seasons. A 30- by 60-foot cherry blossom tree truss structure decorated with hundreds of cherry blossom branches and interweaving vines stood in the center of the space. Projections of seasonal imagery shone onto a cube-shaped chandelier that hung above a 20- by 20-foot reflection pool adorned with floating flowers, candles, and a working fountain.

Best Corporate Event Concept
The CW Network Launch, submitted by Warner Bros. Studios
Held at Warner Brothers Studios, the event featured a 140-foot-long green carpet; celebrities, press, and other guests strutted down the carpet toward a CW logo set-piece. Green wigs adorned cocktail servers, who intermingled with guests and handed out signature mojitos. Plasma televisions, lights, CW logos, white furniture with green pillows, and confetti cannons decorated the party. Throughout the space, faux shops promoted the 18 shows on the CW network and offered corresponding activities for guests. The Blue Man Group performed, and 80 CW personalities took to the main stage.

Best Fresh Idea
Soft Contemporary Minimalist Furniture, submitted by Girari Sustainable Event Furnishings
Girari Sustainable Event Furnishings came up with a unique way to design and manufacture modern, minimalist furniture; this entire event, hospitality, meeting, and lounge line has been constructed from sustainable materials. The visual effect is handsome and fluid, a look Girari calls “soft contemporary.” Frames for some chairs and stools are created from recycled aluminum frames, and upholstered furniture features reclaimed wood frames, recycled foam, and 100-percent recycled fabrics.