'American Idol' Finale Party Puts Interactive Sponsor Activations in Tent for 1,500

By Alesandra Dubin June 1, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT

Photo: Sean Twomey

Fox's American Idol Finale Party
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American Idol just wrapped its 10th season, and its ongoing success might be considered a challenge for the Fox organizers behind events for the show. Wednesday night's finale party, overseen by Karin Pofsky, under a sprawling tent on the Event Deck at L.A. Live, drew 1,500 guests after the televised show for a party that kept with the annual formula of incorporating big sponsors and all-ages fun. “After 10 seasons, it's getting more and more difficult every year [to keep it fresh],” Pofsky said. “We take our inspiration from the show, looking at the stage, graphics, on-air branding. We always ask, 'What can we do differently?'”

In the case of this year's event, thinking differently meant working with event producer YourBash to expand the size of the tent, which allowed for the inclusion of a vehicle from sponsor Ford. The furnishings and decor look used rounded instead of angular lines. The look also made use of myriad mirror balls in varying sizes, the tabletop versions of which were so popular among guests that dozens walked out the door with them (only to be stopped by security guards, who collected a pile at the tent entrance).

Among the party's other sponsors were Coke, whose many products were on offer at the bars, and at a video beverage machine, and AT&T, which let guests interact with its products in a branded lounge. Ford also was represented at a logo photo booth. “We offer all our sponsors the opportunity to do an interactive activity,” said Pofsky. “We try to make [the integrations] as organic as possible, and try to keep a cohesive statement with what [sponsors] do on the show as well as in the party.”

The guests, who included the likes of sponsors, executives, and current and past production people and Idol candidates, also got a glimpse at all 13 finalists, including winner Scotty McCreery, who made a late appearance after—naturally—a long night of press. 

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