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Honor Roll:
10 Trendsetters of Spring

June 26, 2001, 12:00 AM EDT

Good event planners are always looking for ideas, and here are some great ones. We've covered more than 100 events this spring, and we picked 10 events that are having an impact on the special events industry, in New York and beyond. So take a look at the decor that had guests buzzing at some of the spring's high-profile benefits (the Costume Institute gala, the big Robin Hood benefit), and check out some innovative ideas that made otherwise typical events into memorable moments. In other words: Steal these ideas!

Kennedy Style at the Costume Benefit
The Metropolitan Museum of Art's exhibit of Jackie Kennedy's clothes from her time in the White House is drawing long lines and lots of press, and you can expect Robert Isabell's decor for the Kennedy-themed Costume Institute benefit to be equally influential.

Big, Sexy Beds for Sex and the City
Floralia's Carter Field designed a group of large, beautiful beds for Sex and the City's season premiere party, which he gave a kind of Pucci-meets-Morocco feel. It was a sexy spring soiree.

Fashion Awards' Cool, Changing Stage
Most award shows need to stimulate audience members as much as possible, and the stage at the CFDA awards was a dramatic, changing part of the event. Kevin Krier & Associates' minimalist set looked like a completely white Calvin Klein store--until Scharff Weisberg put colored lights and projections on it. The stage changed constantly throughout the show, from bold, solid colors, to patterns, to the names of the nominees with pictures of their work.

Hors d'oeuvres on the Walls
At the opening party for the Felissimo Design House, guests never had to wait for a waiter to come by with food. Instead, they could pick hors d'oeuvres right from the wall of the reception. The fun, unusual idea puts a new spin on a cocktail party.

Avi Adler's Surreal Decor for Robin Hood
For the Robin Hood Foundation's annual gala--one of the big-time benefits of the spring--Avi Adler designed not one, but two separate--but equally surreal--environments for the star-packed evening. The look was truly unique.

Useful Conference Badges for Inside.com
This was a stylish, useful take on name badges: Attendees at Publisher's Weekly and Inside.com's Book Industry Summit wore metal chains around their necks that were strung with a small booklet that showed the person's name and included a small version of the day's program, printed upside-down so attendees could read it without taking it off. A brilliant idea for conference and meeting planners.

Lush Floral Decor at Oprah's Big Anniversary Bash
Celebrity decor designer Preston Bailey won raves from Oprah Winfrey herself at O magazine's first anniversary party. Bailey's lush floral pieces--including 10 chandeliers covered in flowers, with long white candles--will surely be copied.

Candie's Big Benefit Gets Top Teen Entertainers
It was a dream lineup for an event designed to send a message to teens: Destiny's Child, 98 Degrees, Macy Gray and 'NSync all performed at the Candie's Foundation's launch party and benefit.

The Return of the Smoking Lounge at GLAAD Awards
Lucky Strike sponsored a special lounge for smokers at the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation's Media Awards. Instead of watching from the ballroom, smokers could sit back with a martini and watch the show on giant video screens. Regardless of how you feel about smoking, this idea was an original idea you can steal: Why not sponsor a special area--smoke-free or not--at an industry event?

Francis Ford Coppola's Italian Street Fair
Summer in New York isn't complete without street fairs, and Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola put together a traditional Italian street festival to promote his new line of pastas and sauces. The fun, family-style event was a great alternative to a typical product launch.

What was your favorite event of the season? Let us know. Email executive editor Chad Kaydo at ckaydo@bizbash.com.

Posted 06.26.01

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