When planning TD Bank's employee recognition dinner—called the “Wow!” awards—Jennifer Savica, the firm's vice president of event management, set the bar high: She wanted to create an event that didn't really feel like a typical dinner and presentation. Previous incarnations of the event had featured standard elements of corporate celebrations such as a stage, and an audience of as many as 2,000 people. “It was getting kind of predictable,” she said.
To shake things up, the presentation on Saturday evening took the form of an intimate dinner party, hosting an exclusive group of 100 made up of the 27 honorees, their guests, and TD Bank senior execs. “We wanted to create a one-of-a-kind dinner...something people could aspire to,” Savica said of the format change. And despite the fact it was originally scheduled to take place at the Sports Museum of America—which closed February 20—the event found a last-minute home at Skylight.
Aside from the scaled-down guest list, the seating played a large role in providing a more intimate feel to the evening: Attendees dined and presented at a single organically shaped table, designed by Tribbles Home & Garden. (Blooms in varying colors set on the place settings helped attendees locate their seats at the unconventional structure.) Clear glass vessels filled with orchid blooms hovered over diners, an element Savica described as a “deconstructed chandelier.”
“We wanted it to feel like you were in someone's living room,” she said. Modern, spring-inspired groupings of glass globes, vases, candles, and orchids—accented by miniature ladybugs for a whimsical touch—adorned the sprawling dinner table.
Also absent from the proceedings was a stage. Instead, speakers—seated next to the employees they were lauding—stood at the table to make the presentations. Additional personal touches included the use of magnetic name tags (emblazoned with hand calligraphy) in place of less refined plastic pin-on badges, a hall of fame displaying photos of the evening's winners, and an after-party decorated with white lounge furniture in casual configurations.