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NEW YORK As in past years, Travel & Leisure honored its World's Best Awards winners with an award ceremony and elaborate after party, this time drawing an estimated 500 travel industry executives, clients, and agency representatives to the newly opened Conrad New York on Thursday, July 19. Sponsored by tequila brand Patrón and benefiting the Room to Read charity, this year's event placed a premium on guests interaction and eye-catching visuals.
“The design goal was to keep things colorful by using color blocking, [and] to make the winners stand out,” said Jill Sabato, Travel & Leisure's design director.
To highlight the winners, organizers created a wall display, which doubled as a step-and-repeat and was made of colorful panels, each marked with the magazine's logo and award titles. Another wall housed five tanks filled with Patrón-based cocktails from which guests could pour their own drinks.
Elsewhere, the magazine employed a travel motif, with a traditional African drum performance and authentic Masais—semi-nomadic people native to Kenya—in full dress, staffers wearing exotic necklaces from different cultures, and a photo booth with a world map backdrop and props like suitcases, telescopes, and pilot hats.