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EVENT REPORT

BiZBash Blitz: Our Spring Fling

At the BiZBash Spring Awakening networking event at Frame, BiZBash president Richard Aaron inducted Chris Giftos, the Metropolitan Museum's manager of special events, into the BiZBash Event Style Hall of Fame.

With all the rain, it didn't feel like spring outside, but BiZBash held a Spring Awakening-themed networking event that mixed a group of event and meeting planners with more than 40 of BiZBash's marketing partners, who got a chance to show off to potential clients (and, for that matter, to each other). The event was hosted by Frame, the event space formerly known as the Waterfront (as recently as a few days before the party, in fact), in the space that once housed the Tunnel nightclub.

To see more photos from this event go to the online photo album.

Guests entered the huge space through its 27th Street entrance, where an assortment of furniture from Props for Today was set around the two rooms leading to the registration area, which was decorated with festive balloon trees from Life O' the Party. After picking up badges from Big Badge, guests passed actors dressed as Greek marble statues on pedestals (from Michael Bongar Entertainment), who posed among an assortment of more furniture.

The long main party space was divided into various sections, where caterers and designers were paired to show off what they could do. In the first catered area, Matthew David Events and Neuman & Bogdonoff teamed up to create a soothing, all-white environment lit with cool blue and white lights. Two white inflatable walls (from Flying Objects) were propped as backdrops for the area, which featured low, powder blue couches strewn with pillows. Tall round cocktail tables covered with stretchy white table wraps and decorated with votive candles and small flower arrangements with orchids and hydrangea stood next to David's signature light bars, where Neuman & Bogdonoff served scallop ceviche with lime juice, pepper and frisee. Another tasting table included some tasty herbed chevre on apple crisps with crushed hazelnuts and a mixed crudite plate decorated with slices of bright green limes.

PrestigEvents had a small French wine tasting room decorated by Remco van Vliet of Van Vliet & Trap. The room featured a gorgeous banquet table decorated with autumnal shades of gold, red, orange and rust, with elegant organza table linens. The floral centerpiece towered with long-stemmed French tulips and branches of cherry blossoms and magnolia. At the base was another floral display with warm orange roses, orchids and red berries.

The venue's main bar area was decorated with displays put together by Eclectic/Encore Props and fabric from Dazian, and a huge ice sculpted drink receptacle by Ice Art filled with cosmopolitan mix. Dozens of martini glasses dolled up with Lush Life's marabou glass accessories surrounded the ice sculpture, and tall tree topiaries from Flowers by Reuven stood atop the bars. A mini stage was situated at the end of the bar, where Josh Harris and Soundscapes (booked by Vali Music) and belly dancing duo Morocco and Tarik performed in front of a small grouping of cocktail tables and chairs. Eclectic/Encore also decorated one wall area with different themed groups of props.

In the middle of the event, BiZBash president Richard Aaron welcomed the guests and introduced founder and CEO David Adler, who spoke of his work with NYC & Company and the Convention, Exposition, Meeting & Event (CEME) Coalition, which is working to bring events and meetings to New York. Next BiZBash editor in chief Chad Kaydo announced the winners of the first BiZBash Event Style awards. Winners were given small glass snow globe awards made by Crystal Kreations, which featured the BiZBash logo and star-shaped confetti. And finally Aaron introduced Chris Giftos, manager of special events for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, who was inducted into BiZBash's Event Style Hall of Fame and serenaded by singer Amanda Homi, who sang a song with customized lyrics about Giftos, accompanied by a Mark Wood, who played a unique neon violin. (The act was from Sawyer Creative.)

Past the stage was a catering display by Allure Catering, the company headed by chef Philippe Feret of Brasserie Julien. Allure's table display was covered with white tablecloths and sheer, wine-colored overlays with gold embroidery from American Foliage and Design Group. Their display-only food props were situated on a wooden stand decorated with stained glass. Among the edible goodies were yellowfin tuna tartare with truffles and small sundae glasses filled with scallop ceviche with avocado, tomato, olive oil, lime juice and cilantro jalapeno oil. Cocktail mixologist Dale DeGroff joined Allure at a Stolichnaya-sponsored martini bar. One of DeGroff's most scrumptious creations: His Sole Samba with Stoli Vanil, pineapple juice, orange oil and a dash of nutmeg.

The next catering table was hosted by Dean & Deluca, which offered a table laden with goat cheeses, breads and crackers and decorated with a striking display of red tulips from Flowers by Reuven and red organza tablecloths from Cloth Connection. A popular dish among partygoers: The shrimp and haricot vert served in a small cup with tomato and Pernod. Other dishes included.phparagus with lime vinaigrette, chicken roulade and salmon rillettes with salmon roe on crisps. D&D's hit drink: A passion fruit, elderflower and prosecco cocktail.

The row of food tables was broken up by a grouping of cocktail tables decorated with red silk roses frozen inside huge diamond-shaped blocks of ice (also by Ice Art) on steel pedestals. Shimmery lavender and green tablecloths with green leaf scrolling from Cloth Connection covered the tables. An assortment of performers and entertainers spoke with guests in this area. Performer Penny England provided hand and face painting, and Hattie Parker's “Wish Tree” table had guests writing their wishes on cards for Parker to meditate over and mail them back to them. For this area, American Foliage and Design Group brought in a group of sparkling trees made with branches dripping with colored crystal beads backlit by small lights. Clusters of glowing lanterns were suspended from the trees, giving the area an enchanting, nighttime garden party atmosphere.

Against one wall was a hot food station from Spoonbread Inc., the catering arm of the famed Harlem restaurant Miss Mamie's Spoonbread Too. Owner Norma Jean Darden offered some fab southern food--like fried shrimp with ginger and garlic sauce and catfish fingers with orange tartar sauce--that flew off the buffet warmers.

Nearby, a large ice bar in the shape of the Brooklyn Bridge (also from Ice Art)--dubbed the “I Love New York Absolut Vodka Bar"--offered oyster shooters, shrimp cocktails and Bloody Marys from Lundy Brothers.

In Frame's chandelier room at the end of the venue, Spirit Cruises' Bateaux New York created a jazzy, romantic atmosphere. An ice sculpture of the Empire State Building by Ice Art decorated the bar in the rear of the room where Vranken offered champagne. Bateaux offered duck pate with Dijon and gherkins and tuna tartare with hot and sour mango vinaigrette. Mellow jazz music by the Kyleann Burtt Trio featuring Joey Douglas filled the room.

For those who weren't busy eating and drinking, there were other diversions as well. Austin Powers impersonator Linwood Harcum energetically bounced around the room chatting with guests, and a robot host from International Robotics startled a few by actually speaking directly to them (he was being controlled by incognito operator Neal Girandola).

Despite the rain outside, more than 200 event planners came to check out the party and network in Frame's cavernous space with more than 40 vendors who served as the event's partners. And for those who couldn't snag a cab, a complimentary, super-deluxe shuttle bus from Academy Bus Tours--complete with easy chairs, couches and TV monitors--drove eventgoers to Penn Station.

--Suzanne Ito

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