By Alesandra Dubin Posted December 15, 2009, 12:41 PM EST
LOS ANGELES The song “It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” never seems to apply in Los Angeles, where nary a snowflake typically falls. So holiday party organizers have to pull out all the production stops to summon that wintry mood.
For DirecTV's annual holiday party for 1,500 employees and no additional guests, senior manager of corporate events Kerin Lau and director of national media events Brad Setting, along with their internal team and producer Steve Hand of the Hand Company, oversaw a party that relied on big-scale projections from Firefly LA to summon the season.
In a 120- by 140-foot tent on DirecTV's property, Firefly set up projections showing wintry imagery that rotated throughout the night over 360 degrees; custom imagery covered 28,000 square feet with large-format projectors. (Firefly is preparing to launch a sister company called Firefly Tent Design, which will focus on designing tent interiors as well as exteriors through scenic projection.)
“A lot of companies have cut back, but our executives still feel it's important to reward our employees for a good year and treat them,” Lau said. For five years, the company has held its event on its own campus. “We construct a tent here on property so employees can just come down and network and mingle. It's become a tradition, and this year we wanted to bring in a fresh look by bringing in some different decor, including the projection. It's still important that we show appreciation for employees, but we don't go overboard or spend frivolously.”
Setting added, “It was sort of the arctic meets the forest in a park. There was a lot of snow—snow machines and projected snow that moved in the 80,000-square-foot tent. Last year we subfloored, and this year we didn't so it was like an outdoor experience inside. We asked people to dress up in mittens and scarves. This was an experience—it wasn't just coming to a party. The dance floor was packed and people didn't want to leave.”
Other activities at the nondenominational holiday party included a karaoke stage and a Rock Band 2 station.