By Alesandra Dubin Posted August 9, 2011, 12:30 PM EDT
LOS ANGELES The glut of presentations and programming can be exhausting for critics in town for the Television Critics Association press tour, a chance for the group to have face-to-face contact with network execs, producers, and talent. Keeping participants interested—and even restoring perhaps a sense of Zen—was CBS. The network lent its lineup of about 150 stars to a party attended by around 700 guests atop the parking structure at the former Robinsons-May building, next door to the Beverly Hilton. Ian Metrose oversaw the event for CBS, working with Poko Event Productions, which secured a giant, 60-foot pagoda structure from art collective the Do Lab and built the whole look and feel of the party around it.
The art piece—which has appeared as part of the significantly different environments of three music festivals, including Coachella, the troubled Electric Daisy Carnival, and the Do Lab's own Lightning in a Bottle—towered over the alfresco space, creating a sense of intimacy without a tent.
The pagoda's look inspired a tranquil decor scheme, with sand pits reminiscent of Zen gardens showing up in flower arrangements, bar tops, and a large central decor piece on the floor. The press wall, designed by Poko's Tim Koch, included wooden decor pieces and lanterns that riffed off the pagoda look.
Catering, provided by chef Tomas Rivera for Poko, had a pan-Asian bent, with choices like dim sum and Korean barbecue. Lupicia set up an artisanal tea station to continue the theme.